ADVICE TO BUSHWALKERS EFFECTIVE 8 JULY 2020
From 11.59 pm on Wednesday 8 July, there will be significant changes in restrictions to respond to the increase in case numbers and to help reduce the risk of further transmission. Following the Victorian Government's announcement to changes to COVID-19 restrictions, the following:
Stage 3 lockdown restrictions apply to metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire for 6 weeks. Bushwalking Clubs in these areas have to cancel their walks and in-person club activities and stay in touch online.
Bushwalking is allowed, however, you must comply with COVID-19 restrictions including:
- Maximum group size of ten (10).
- Maintaining social distancing of 1.5m while bushwalking and when in transit.
- Do not travel to areas in lockdown.
- Maintaining appropriate personal hygiene.
- Camping is allowed. Check with your intended campsite on what facilities are open.
- Snow activities are permitted. Check with the resort management on restrictions and access.
Some national parks will be open - check park status before going on a trip.
The advice below is provided to help bushwalkers manage risks associated with COVID-19 based on the current restrictions.
Advice for trip planning
- There is no restriction on how far you can travel within the state.
- Check with the relevant Land Manager that the area you are wanting to walk in is open.
- While it may be tempting to undertake challenging activities allow time for walk participants to regain their fitness.
- It is advisable not to carpool - it is difficult to maintain social distance inside a car.
- Select walking routes so that a social distance of 1.5m can be maintained while walking within the group and from other walkers.
Advice for walkers
- If you are in a high-risk category consider carefully if you wish to be exposed to infection risks from others, even outdoors, and with special measures in place. Some people may have an asymptomatic infection.
- Stay at home if you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have had contact with someone suspected to be infected with COVID-19.
- Maintain a social distance of 1.5m at all times.
- Cough into your elbow.
- Scale back ambition - undertake activities well within your ability to reduce the small risk of an accident, which would put emergency services at risk of transmission if a rescue is needed.
- Assume the virus is resilient outdoors, in particular, maintain hand hygiene. Avoid touching shared surfaces and wear gloves. Use alcohol gel/wipes after contacting any surfaces (e.g. gates, fences, or benches).
- Do not share personal items on a walk.
- On a walk, respect other users and take turns to move through any narrow sections of track.
The following websites provide additional information:
- COVID-19 update, Parks Victoria
- Safe Work Australia COVID-19 Resource Kit
- Good hygiene for coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Hand washing guidance
- Keep that cough undercover
- Self-isolation (self-quarantine) for coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Advice for people at risk of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources