The Victorian government has revised the restrictions that were brought in to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria. The full details can be seen here: https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-victoria
Some national parks will be open – check park status before going on a trip.
Escaping Your Comfort Zone will be suspending hikes across all locked down locations. Regional area hikes (including Canberra) may go ahead, in a stripped back manner.
There will be reduced leaders, organising reduced capacity hikes.
Hike capacity will be at the discretion of the leaders, and will frequently be less than 10.
Hikes may be in less popular locations to avoid big crowds when certain parks reopen.
Rules for attending hikes during this COVID-19 period
- You may only attend a maximum of 2 hikes per week (unless there is space on a hike 24hrs beforehand, then you may RSVP to an additional hike)
- DO NOT put pressure on leaders to increase capacity on a hike. These are challenging times for everyone, and some leaders may only feel comfortable with 4-5 people
- RSVP to a hike only if you are 100% certain you are attending. Remember that if you say you are coming, then don’t attend, someone else misses out.
- Do not carpool – it is difficult to maintain social distance inside a car.
- At narrow sections of tracks respect other users and take turns to move through these sections.
- 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 live in any of the areas assigned a Stay at Home order, listed at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19
Stay at home if you are showing ANY of the following symptoms: a fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) OR acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of smell), OR new onset headache, myalgia, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Stay at home if if you have had contact with someone suspected to be infected with COVID-19.
Leaders have the right to ask you to not participate if you are showing symptoms.
- Maintain a social distance of 1.5m at all times. Leaders will remind you to keep your distance.
- 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. This includes water, food, sunscreen, lip balm, hats etc.
The following websites provide additional information to keep you informed:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities
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
Enjoy nature and walking in the bush together but most importantly keep yourself and others safe.