News 2020


Title:  Level 5 - Update on Government Restrictions
Date:  21/10/2020

Level 5 - Update on Government Restrictions

Effective from Midnight tonight 21st October 2020

As of midnight tonight, Wednesday 21st of October, the Republic of Ireland will move to Level 5 on the National Framework for living with COVID-19. Included in the Level 5 restrictions is the appeal to stay at home and to exercise within 5km of your home. This restriction on domestic travel effectively puts a halt to hillwalking and climbing for most of us. Indoor climbing walls, along with gyms, pools and leisure centres will also be closed during Level 5.

If you live close enough to a hill or crag you can go hillwalking or climbing. You should remain within 5km of your home during these activities. You can meet with one other household in an outdoor setting which is not a home or garden, such as a park, including for exercise. We are seeking further clarification on certain definitions used in the framework.

Those over seventy years of age and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgement. It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced. When taking exercise outdoors, it is important to maintain two metres distance from others and wash hands on returning home.

Mountaineering Ireland continues to engage with Sport Ireland to seek clarification on the practical implications of the Level 5 restrictions for hillwalking and climbing and is also engaging with the Government to seek an amendment to the domestic travel restriction of 5km in Level 5 to allow hillwalkers and climbers participate in their activities, in a safe and responsible manner. The physical and mental health benefits of hillwalking and climbing are well documented. Research indicates that outdoor environments pose a low risk of COVID-19 transmission. Considering these two factors together provides a strong basis for reconsidering the 5km restriction which effectively prevents our, and other physical activities from taking place.

Whilst for most of us, we are unable to go hillwalking and climbing for the coming weeks, we can stay connected as a community. We would urge all clubs to remain in contact with their members, particularly those who may be more isolated due to their living circumstances. Mountaineering Ireland is here to support all our clubs and members, so please contact us directly if we can be of any assistance.

In the coming days, Mountaineering Ireland will launch a series of online ‘chats’, presentations, skills workshops, and lectures. These events will hopefully help us to keep in touch and share our passion for hillwalking and climbing over the coming weeks. Full details will be listed on our website shortly.

In the meantime, please keep safe and well.


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