Statement: Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on Freshwalks programme

17 March, 2020

UPDATE (TUESDAY 24 MARCH) – UNFORTUNATELY, GIVEN THE ESCALATION IN GOVERNMENT POLICY YESTERDAY EVENING, ALL CURRENT FRESHWALKS EVENTS FOR THE NEXT 3 WEEKS ARE POSTPONED AHEAD OF THE GOVERNMENT’S REVIEW AT THAT POINT. FUTURE WALKS WILL REMAIN IN THE PLANNER AND DECISIONS WILL BE TAKEN AFTER THE REVIEW.

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As the situation regarding COVID-19 develops, the Freshwalks team would like to offer our support and best wishes to anyone who may be affected.

I recognise that the vast majority of our Freshwalks community might now be confined to working from home and that this will impact the attendance of certain walks.

However, for those who are fit and well, there’s still an important role for Freshwalks to play in the coming weeks to maintain physical fitness, mental wellbeing, social contact and to collaborate on ‘bouncing back’ in a business sense. Albeit, additional precautions must be taken to ensure the negligible risk of spreading the virus.

“You can also go for a walk outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others.”

– an extract from ‘Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults’ (published 16 March 2020) – read more here

1. Community support

More than ever, our business community needs to pull together to support each other, something Freshwalkers excel at. As a micro-business, Freshwalks is feeling its own pain of a complete wipeout of private event bookings for Spring 2020, typically the busiest time of year. But I fully recognise some businesses are facing even worse over the coming weeks and don’t want any individual to feel excluded from our community.

For that reason – without explanation or justification – any previous Freshwalks attendee, who is seriously worried about finances, is welcome to join any walk on a complimentary basis. Use the discount code FRESHWALKS. One free place per person. Offer valid until further notice.

Without obligation, when back on your financial feet, please make a donation in lieu of the ticket value to Mend the Mountains instead.

2. Exclusions

In line with official guidance, please do not join any walks if you have had either of the following symptoms in the previous 7 days or if anyone in your household has within the last 14 days.

i) a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
ii) a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Regrettably, I am also unable to accept registrations if you are:-

i) aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
ii) under 70 with an underlying health condition (more details here)
iii) pregnant

Finally, please consider (even more than you normally would) your fitness suitability for a walk and do not attend if you’re carrying any kind of underlying injury.

3. Additional precautions

Even if you aren’t showing symptoms there’s still a possibility you could be hosting the virus and pass it to someone else who might be more vulnerable than yourself so I deem it necessary to factor in these additional directives in line with official guidance:-

i) Maintain a minimum 2m distance from other walkers at all times
ii) Observe hygiene standards where necessary in line with current guidance
iii) Drive alone, or if using public transport, maintain a suitable distance from others.

I’ll review options for post-walk refreshments on a walk-by-walk basis. Pubs and cafes are having a hard time at the moment and I’ll support where I can do so safely if venues have made suitable arrangements in line with the current advisory position.

4. Programme amendments

MARCH 2020

Having taken 24 hours to consider the implications of the Prime Minister’s press conference yesterday afternoon, I’ve decided upon the following course of action for the remaining March walks programme.

1. To immediately postpone Thursday morning’s Kinder Sunrise walk in Edale so the future programme could be fully considered. Walkers have already been advised by email.

2. To postpone existing Freshwalks City walks in Manchester & Liverpool and delay planning new events until further notice. Walkers will be advised ASAP. These walks require group intimacy to hear the tour guide, unfortunately.

3. To delay a decision on next week’s walk around Tatton Park until later this week.

4. To proceed with the walk on Friday 27 March from Greenfield to Marsden* (subject to conditions detailed above and a potential switch to a circular route – details TBC).

APRIL 2020

All events currently remain in the calendar as planned but will be subject to individual risk assessment and potential change in government advice in due course.

Thursday 9 April            Freshwalks City Express
Friday 17 April               West Kirby to Hilbre Island
Friday 24 April               Kinder Edges
Wednesday 29 April      Bramhall Park
Thursday 30 April          Keswick

If you have any concerns about the above – in what is clearly a fast-moving situation – then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Michael Di Paola
Founder, Freshwalks.

 

 

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