Our response to Covid-19

Statement: our advice for our networks and the public on the Coronavirus outbreak

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Last updated Friday 29th May, 2020

The Scottish Government announced an easing of lockdown to Phase One from Friday 29th May. 

The full guidance is on the Scottish Government website - Coronavirus (COVID-19): staying at home and away from others (physical distancing).

There are some key changes affecting walking, active travel and physical activity, which include:

  • You can now exercise and do other outdoor activity, including walking, with members of one other household at a time. 
  • You should only meet one other household within the same day and up to a recommended maximum of eight people in the overall group.
  • You can use outdoor spaces for other recreational purposes, for example to sit or relax alone or with one other household.
  • You should always maintain physical distancing of at least two metres between different households.
  • You should use judgement and take part in activity only if you can do so safely, maintaining physical distancing and not putting yourself or others at risk.
  • You should avoid crowded places where physical distancing may be difficult.
  • Try to stay local. However, you can now travel for up to 5 miles for exercise, recreation and to meet friends and family outdoors. You should walk, wheel or cycle where possible when travelling.

For the latest health advice visit nhsinform.scot/coronavirus
For the latest updates from the Scottish Government visit gov.scot/coronavirus.

Walking during periods of social distancing

We know this is an anxious time for many, and we encourage everyone to keep active when they can and if they feel well enough to do so. The current Government advice is that those not experiencing symptoms, such as a fever or persistent cough, and those not in extremely high risk groups detailed here, can walk outside for exercise, as long as they are alone or with members of their own or one other household. 

Fresh air and being outdoors is not only positive for your physical health, but it can help to reduce any stress, anxiety or other mental health conditions. We believe it is important for people to continue to enjoy short, local walks where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

The advice is to stay local. Choose routes right from your own front door or just a short journey (up to 5 miles) away. You should try to visit places you know will be quiet, away from hotspots. Keep a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.

Before leaving your home you should plan how you will keep safe and minimise risk. For example, consider whether and how you will avoid touching surfaces that others have touched and how you will practise good hygiene.

  • maintain hand and cough hygiene
  • avoid touching with your hands hard surfaces such as gates, walls, fences and park benches

The Scottish Government has also released a ministerial statement on access rights.

For an easy read version of this guidance click here.

Keeping active at home

If you are not able to go outside for a walk, then there are a number of ways you can keep moving at home.

  • For some simple exercises, watch our Strength & Balance demonstration video
  • Browse YouTube for a range of videos including yoga, HIIT workouts, or pilates
  • Take regular breaks from sitting to stand up and move around your home

Walking your dog

The Scottish Government has provided advice on dog walking during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • Dog walkers should follow the social distancing guidelines, including staying local to home and two metres away from other people
  • Dogs from self-isolating households should be kept on a lead and contact avoided with other people and animals if being walked in public

More detail is on the Scottish Government website.

View our resources for keeping active during this time:

Walking during periods of social distancing

Keeping active at home

Advice and tips for homeworkers

Keeping safe while enjoying spring walks

Listen to our Mind to Walk podcast with Edith Bowman


Information for Scottish Health Walk Network Members

In light of updated Government guidance, all Health Walks and Health Walk training have been cancelled/postponed. We anticipate that this situation will last for several weeks and we will keep you updated during this time.

We understand the importance of a weekly Health Walk to many of our walkers and volunteers and know this is disappointing news. If you can, keep your walkers and volunteers updated via email, text message, social media or phone calls.

You could also send them advice and links on best ways for them to keep active whilst reducing social contact.

  • At the moment the advice is that those not experiencing symptoms and those not in the high risk groups, can walk outside for exercise either alone or with members of their own or one other household
  • Our video of strength & balance exercises can be found here
  • Looking after our mental health during these difficult times is also important; there are lots of good resources and advice here

Members of the Scottish Health Walk Network can also visit the Members Area and the Scottish Health Walk Network Slack channel where we will post updates and news as things change. If you have any queries in the meantime please contact your Paths for All Development Officer.

Information for Smarter Choices Smarter Places projects

We fully anticipate that Smarter Choices Smarter Places funded projects will be impacted by the efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus. All projects should have received advice on Paths for All’s expectations on project reporting and the options available. If you have not received this advice please contact scsp@pathsforall.org.uk.

Please note that the 2019/20 Open Fund opens for applications on 1st June.

Information for our Community Path projects

Although works on the ground have halted, our Community Path and Community Active Travel Grants are now open to expressions of interest.

If you need help planning your community path projects remember our Active Environments Team are here to help you by providing advice and support.

Paths for All's working practice

In line with Government advice, all Paths for All staff are now working from home, and we have cancelled upcoming face-to-face meetings and events.

You can still get in touch with us by contacting us by phone. See our staff page for contact information.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@pathsforall.org.uk