COVID-19

Ruling from Wilmslow Guild

The Committee have now been told by the Principal at Wilmslow Guild that the Walking Group do not need to observe the 'Rule of Six'. Therefore the Group is back to where it was before. This is that walkers can walk in groups of up to 30. However if a walker lives in an area with greater restrictions, they can request the walkers be divided into groups of six.

In that case walkers will be organised by the leader into groups of six before the start. The groups should then remain approximately 10 metres apart during the walk including breaks.

See below for notes how this applies to Leaders and walkers.

Current situation


The current situation regarding COVID-19 and walkers is complex and can change rapidly. The WGWG membership geographically spans areas that are under different levels of local rules and local lockdown restrictions. Updates come from different sources and at different times. Many find the COVID-19 guidance has varying levels of clarity. Sometimes guidance on a particular topic is hard to find.

Guidance can be difficult to interpret between what is legally binding and what is not legally binding. At present in UK government guidance the term must is used when the person in question is legally required to do something and should when the advice set out should be followed unless there is good reason not to but is not obligatory. Non-governmental guidance can have even less grammatical rigour that that of the government, frequently using the term advice but without any qualifying statement as to whether it is required by law or alternatively is entirely voluntary.

Members may find the following links of use in their research:

GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19)

GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) Local Restrictions

GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) Organising outdoor sport and physical activity events

GOV.UK The Countryside Code - short 'Covid-19' online version

NHS Test and Trace

The Ramblers Association Coronavirus Advice

Taking part in COVID-safe walks

Before the walk

Check for symptoms.

  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms you must not attend the group walk.

Clothing and what to take

  • Wear suitable clothing and footwear for the conditions – if in doubt, ask the walk leader.

  • Bring your own food and plenty of water.

  • You may want to bring your own alcohol-based hand sanitiser, face covering and basic first aid kit.

Getting to the walk

  • Plan how you will get to the walk–where possible, minimising the use of car sharing and public transport.

On the walk

Follow the government guidelines on physical distancing

  • Listen to the walk leader’s briefing so you know what to do and follow the latest guidelines.

Register your attendance

  • Provide the walk leader with your contact details to support NHS contact tracing.

Avoid touching gates and stiles where possible

  • If you do – wash your hands as soon as you can.

  • We recommend carrying alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Do not share food & drink, or equipment such as walking poles

  • Physically sharing anything increases the risk of viral transfer.

Walk responsibly and enjoy it!

  • When other walkers are passing, remember to stand back and give way.

  • Let the walk leader or backmarker know if you are having problems, feel unwell, or need to slow down or stop.

  • Please follow the Countryside Code –COVID-19 online version.

After the walk

If you have symptoms

  • If you develop symptoms after the walk, apply for a COVID-19 test and support NHS contact tracing if requested.

  • If NHS contact tracers ask for the details of anyone on the walk, please contact the walk leader who will have the list of contact details of members who were on the walk.

Specific guidelines for walkers

  1. All walks will require members to observe COVID-19 restrictions by social distancing. If a walker who lives in an area with greater restrictions requests it, walkers will be divided by the Leader into groups of six. These groups should do the walk with a distance of approximately 10 metres between them including during breaks. Otherwise no special precautions are now required.

  2. Members make their own way to the start of the walk, in time for the advertised start time.

  3. All walkers will be required to give their names and contact details to the leader in case NHS Test and Trace is required. By taking part in the walk, walkers agree to their contact details being passed to NHS Test and Trace should these be requested.

  4. If a walker subsequently has a positive test for COVID 19 or is asked by the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing system for contacts details of fellow walkers, they should immediately contact the walker leader who will have these details.

  5. If any member has concerns about these arrangements, please contact a member of the Committee.

Specific guidelines for leaders

  1. Any leader who wishes to withdraw from leading their walk may do so. Could they please notify a member of the Committee well in time to allow another leader to be found.

  2. For groups of up to 30 walkers, no special arrangements are required other than those set out in these paragraphs. The exception is if a walker who lives in an area with greater restrictions requests it, the Leader will divide the group into two or more groups of six or less. The second group which should include some stronger walkers, will follow the first group at a distance of approximately 10 metres to prevent mingling. The arrangements at breaks should be such again to avoid mingling. The Leader should ensure that a walker in each group has shared mobile telephone numbers with the Leader and each other.

  3. Walk leaders are required to collect contact details from each walker at the start of the walk for use by the NHS Test and Trace system. Contact details to be collected: Forename, surname, phone number and email address. Leaders should retain the list for at least 14 days. If contacted by one of the members who was on the walk following a positive COVID 19 test or at the request of NHS Test and Trace, the leader should give the member a copy of the list.

  4. If any member has concerns about these arrangements, please contact a member of the Committee.