Last updated Tuesday 5th January 2021
During the Coronavirus outbreak, we want everyone to be able to walk every day as a safe and enjoyable way to look after our physical and mental wellbeing.
From 5 January 2021 the Scottish Government’s new ‘stay at home’ regulations came into effect. By law, in a level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.
Walking for exercise or essential travel is permitted, provided you follow social distancing, travel and other government guidelines. Up to 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors to walk together. No limit has been put on how many times people can go out to exercise,
Group Health Walks are not permitted in level 4 areas until the restrictions allow them to restart.
Our advice for walking
Stay safe – look after yourself and those in your care
- You should always maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres between different households and follow strict hygiene guidance.
- For informal social walks, up to 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors to walk together. (Under 12s from the 2 households are not counted within this limit)
- Where possible, avoid touching hard surfaces such as walls, fences and park benches.
- Children under 12 do not have to physically distance with other children or adults when outdoors.
- You should avoid crowded places where physical distancing may be difficult and take into account any localised restrictions.
- You should follow the Outdoor Access Code at all times when enjoying the outdoors.
- Consider bringing things you may need – hand sanitiser, face covering, contactless payment options, etc.
- Consider exercising at less busy times and avoid hotspots
- Respect other path users and give older people and people with poor mobility, visually impaired and people in wheelchairs priority
- Take your litter with you
Travelling during Covid-19
- Click here for more detailed guidance on walking, cycling and wheeling during Covid-19.
- Click here for Transport Scotland's advice on travelling within Scotland during Covid-19.
Helping you through lockdown with a #WalkOnceADay this winter
Join our community of winter walkers. We’re giving lots of tips and motivation to keep you moving and feeling positive. Join in by taking our #WalkOnceADay this winter pledge.
Walking during periods of social distancing
Keeping active at home
Click here for our top tips to get active from the comfort of your own home.
Click here for advice for keeping active when you're working from home.
Walking your dog
The Scottish Government's have issued advice on dog walking during the coronavirus outbreak.
Information for Scottish Health Walk Network Members
Group Health Walks in level 4 areas are not permitted until at least 31 January, in line with the Scottish Government’s ‘stay at home’ regulations in force from 5 January 2021.
Walking projects that offer 1:1 or ‘buddy walks’ can continue to operate following the 2 person limits.
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. See the links above for lots of ideas.
Members of the Scottish Health Walk Network can also visit our website Members Area and the Slack channel where we will post updates and news as things change.
Information for Smarter Choices Smarter Places projects
Covid-19 lockdown has offered an insight into how our towns and cities can be much better places to live in with many more people walking and cycling regularly, safer streets, cleaner air and less noise pollution. Read our Covid-19 impact advice for funded SCSP projects here.
Information for our Community Path projects
Mainland Scotland and some islands are currently in lockdown with guidance to stay at home, except for essential and permitted purposes.
We acknowledge that some voluntary path groups are continuing to deliver a very restricted service, where works are deemed necessary for the continued safety of path users. If work of this nature is being considered then it remains vital to follow current Scottish Government guidance and restrictions at all times.
Paths for All's working practice
In line with Government advice, Paths for All staff are working from home, with all meetings taking place online.