News 2020


Title:  Roadmap for the return to Hillwalking and Climbing
Date:  05/05/2020

Roadmap for the return to Hillwalking and Climbing

This is a slog. It’s slow, it’s tedious and the summit seems far away. But, just like any slog that you have done before, take solace from how far you have come. This has been really tough for many people, especially those who have lost loved ones and those who have experienced huge personal change in their lives. Together, we can support each other through this.

After several weeks of restrictions, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has set out the roadmap for the phased reopening of the Republic of Ireland. Each phase is contingent on avoiding the occurrence of a second wave of the Coronavirus and will be subject to the ongoing public health advice.

Although, the roadmap provides a positive progression towards getting us all back hillwalking and climbing, it is very important to remember the purpose of the restrictions, and that we all need to play our own part in preventing the spread of the virus.  By adhering to the restrictions, we will all help ensure that we progress from one phase to the next on the roadmap.

We cannot become complacent; there will still be a need to avoid unnecessary travel, for physical distancing, good hand and respiratory hygiene, and for people to stay at home and isolate if feeling unwell.

It is also important to remember that on the 18th May in the Republic of Ireland, although certain activities will be allowed, the travel restrictions remain in place, meaning for most of us it will be later before we are able to travel far enough to go hillwalking or climbing.

Having digested the full content of the announcement on Friday 1st of May from An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and the Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business document, Mountaineering Ireland has consolidated what we believe are the most relevant details for hillwalkers and climbers.

  • 5th of May – Adjustment to current restrictions
    • Extending the distance that you can leave your home for the purposes of exercise from 2km to 5km.
    • People cocooning may leave their home for exercise provided there is no contact with other people.
  • 18th of May – Phase 1
    • The distance you can leave your home for the purposes of exercise remains at 5km.
    • People can engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities, either individually or in very small groups (maximum 4 people), where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact
  • 8th of June – Phase 2
    • The distance you can leave your home for the purposes of exercise increases to 20km.
  • 29th of June – Phase 3
    • The distance you can leave your home for the purposes of exercise remains at 20km.
  • 20th of July – Phase 4
    • You can extend travel to outside of your region.
  • 10th of August – Phase 5
    • Climbing walls reopen.

Please note: this is Mountaineering Ireland’s interpretation of the roadmap, we are currently seeking clarification from relevant authorities. Please click on the following link for the entire document:

We will continue to engage with Government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a smooth return to our activities. We are currently engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including; members/non-members, government department and agencies, land owners and land managers, other sporting organisations, rescue organisations and medical and scientific personnel.

As we continue to support the process in Northern Ireland, we await updates from the Northern Ireland Assembly.  You are also asked to heed the requests of Mountain Rescue teams and Coastguard units to avoid the need for call outs.

In the meantime, please continue to follow the directions from both governments and health experts and continue to respect the restrictions and exercise limits.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the effort of our members in adhering to the restrictions so far. Please remember we are here to support you and you can contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.


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