COVID-19 and back to group walking – as at 06/07/20 Important information

As from the 6th July our Walking groups will start to re-emerge slowly at first whilst we get used to the new measures we need to follow.

Over the last few weeks, the team and I have been busy risk assessing, and deciding on the best way forward. To start with we will only be able to have a max 5 walkers per session, so please be mindful on booking your walks as there may be waiting lists. For the first two weeks there will only be three walks offered. You can see outdoor and virtual sessions available for booking https://harmonynordicwalking.co.uk/activities/ 

The online sessions will still be continuing for those of you that are not able to or not ready to come back out yet.

The first two weeks some walks may be slightly shorter in time and will be early morning (to avoid peak times for parking and use of routes) This will help get ourselves familiar with the new ways, to help us assess demand and to be able to assess fitness levels. I would ask for the first few weeks that if there are walks on consecutive days, allow 48 hrs before you walk again to allow others an opportunity to book a session. I will be reviewing weekly and then hopefully the timetable outside be increased as we progress.

There are some considerations that we all need to think about and be fully aware of.

Firstly, I would like to reiterate the obvious that we are all adults, and all play a role in taking responsibility for ourselves and those around us. Please help us by complying with all that is asked of you whilst we are out walking it will help to keep us all safe and well.
You will need to be aware of the following;

  • There are new COVID health questions when you first log in and these need to be read and completed. Please make sure that you read the questions and respond accordingly (please see the additional information below if you fall in the clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable groups and the new online Health questionnaire)
  • Please bring a small first aid kit with you with some antiseptic wipes and plasters and hand sanitiser
  • It will NOT be mandatory to wear a face covering however, I do ask that you bring a face cover in case of a first aid emergency. If you are the casualty and need First aid assistance, then you will be asked to wear it.
  • If you wish to wear a face covering whilst walking this is fine, best practice is to keep it on and if removed use hand sanitiser (min 70% alcohol) before and after removal.
  • There will be NO provision of equipment/kit/water at this time and NO spares
  • If you forget your water/kit/equipment, then you cannot start the walk.
  • We shall walk ‘2 poles apart’ at all times to help us adhere to social distancing.
  • We shall avoid stiles to begin with and gates will be managed safely by walk leader
  • Review after each session and weekly basis to assess local spikes/frequency of use of other users/parking etc
  • Please take time to watch this video which gives a demonstration of zig zag walking and instructions we will use if another user is on the footpath heading our way.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PONEBDXNCmA
  • GDPR – Please note:  I am required to assist the Test and Trace service by keeping a temporary record of your contact information (name, contact number and e mail address) for 21 days following your walk and assisting NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.  If this information is requested of me I will advise you that a request has been made so that you will be aware to expect contact from the Test and Trace service. This does not affect your data protection rights such as the right to erasure or rectification.
  • NHS Test and Trace will ask for these records only where it is necessary, usually because someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has listed a walk/group session as a place they visited recently.

    NHS Test and Trace will work with me, if I am contacted. I will ensure that information is shared in a safe and secure way. The requested information will be shared as soon as possible to help identify people who may have been in contact with the virus and help minimise the onward spread of COVID-19.

    NHS Test and Trace will handle all data according to the highest ethical and security standards and ensure it is used only for the purposes of protecting public health, including minimising the transmission of COVID-19.

    If you are then contacted by NHS Test and Trace

    Contact tracers will:

    Contact tracers will never:

    • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
    • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
    • ask for any details about your bank account
    • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
    • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
    • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
    • ask about protected characteristics that are irrelevant to the needs of test and trace
    • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
    • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
    • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

Having considered our insurers requirements my risk assessment currently requires the following

Clinically vulnerable  – If you have any of the conditions on this list you may attend providing you ask your GP if it is OK to resume the exercise you were doing prior to COVID 19. You need to confirm the positive answer and date in writing to me.

Over 70’s – You may attend if you do not have any of the conditions on the clinically vulnerable list, this needs to be confirmed by you in an e mail to me.

Clinically extremely vulnerable – unfortunately I am not able to offer an outdoor group session for you at this time.
If you are unsure if you are affected by these categories please speak to me.

For details on up-to-date Government guidance, see here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Health questionnaire
You will need to update your health questionnaire when you book your first returning session (you don’t need to go in specifically beforehand to update). Until then, the system will show an incomplete health questionnaire. If you tick yes to any question (even if it’s one of the standard questions) I will need to go in, check that I am already aware of the condition, and clear the red flag or discuss this with you.

At the end of the day my utmost priority is to keep you, and the team as safe as we possibly can be whilst also trying to to take some steps to get back to some group exercise.

Looking forward to seeing you out on new adventures soon and do get in touch if you have any questions.

Love Adele x

04.07.20