Walking Club Activities, transition to Step 2 of the SA Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions, effective June 1

This advice has since been updated

From this Friday, 19 June 2020, each walking group can increase from 20 to 75. Physical distancing of one person per 4sqm must still be maintained. The total number of people who can gather in one location has increased from 80 to 300 (up to 4 groups of 75). Each group of up to 75 should remain separate. Read more.

Restrictions and advice affecting walking clubs

Effective June 1

Today we have received confirmation from the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR), that walking clubs will be able to increase walk numbers up to 20 participants per group (plus 1 walk leader, totaling 21 people), from 1 June 2020. Other than the increase in numbers, all recommendations around distancing and hygiene maintenance still apply (1.5m between participants should still be maintained, and 1 person per 4 square metres). No more than 4 groups of 20 should be ‘gathered’ at any one time.

The ORSR is recommending that all clubs complete a COVID-19 Safe Plan prior to recommencing, however this is only mandatory for groups/clubs using clubrooms.

The recent specific advice issued by ORSR can be viewed on their website.

View the supporting advice (but note the above changes).

Covid-19 restrictions easing, where can you walk? Effective Monday 11 May 2020

Covid-19 return to sport – Level B – effective Monday 11 May 2020From Monday 11 May 2020, some COVID-19 social distancing restrictions in South Australia have been eased.

You can now, provided you are well, not in self isolation and follow social distancing and hygiene measure guidelines:

  • go for a walk in your neighbourhood
  • walk in a national park, forest or reserve
  • travel throughout the State to go for a walk
  • walk in a group, provided there are 10 people or less
  • join a walk with a walking club (walking clubs should refer to Plan for resumption of walking club activities – Level B)
  • camp in a national park campsite
  • camp in a Forestry SA campsite – but only from Monday 25 May 2020
  • hike and camp on the Heysen Trail (previously it was restricted to day-walkers only)

Find a trail to go for a walk: view map or browse over 700 walks.

Covid-19: Plan for resumption of walking club activities – Level B – effective Monday 11 May 2020

This advice has since been updated

From this Friday, 19 June 2020, each walking group can increase from 20 to 75. Physical distancing of one person per 4sqm must still be maintained. The total number of people who can gather in one location has increased from 80 to 300 (up to 4 groups of 75). Each group of up to 75 should remain separate. Read more.

As restrictions from COVID-19 ease, the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing advised all peak sporting and recreation bodies of the requirement to submit a plan for resumption of activities, which adhered to the national and state regulations. The formal, approved plan for walking is below. The key points are to:

  • Maintain walking groups of 10 or fewer
  • Maintain physical distance and hygiene practices
  • Avoid sharing equipment

Covid-19: Plan for resumption of walking club activities – Level B

Covid-19 return to sport – Level B – effective Monday 11 May 2020

This plan for walking clubs has been formulated in accordance with, and is effective immediately:

National guidelines

South Australian Restrictions

Overview

The resumption of walking activities can contribute many health, economic, social and cultural benefits to Australian society emerging from the COVID-19 environment and international evidence to-date is suggestive that outdoor activities are a lower risk setting for COVID-19 transmission.

The resumption of activities should not compromise the health of individuals or the community and will be based on objective health information to ensure activities are conducted safely and do not risk increased COVID-19 local transmission rates.

During Level B restrictions, walking club activities will be restricted to groups of 10 or fewer. Moving to the next stage of restrictions (Level C) will be dependent upon National, State/Territory and/or Local Public Health Authority guidance.  Importantly, resumption of walking club activities may be non-linear. Increasing restrictions may be required in response to fluctuating numbers of COVID-19 cases. All organisations need to be flexible to accommodate and respond to changes in community transmission rates and the associated changes in advice from Public Health Authorities.

At all times walking clubs must respond to the directives of Public Health Authorities. Localised outbreaks may require organisations to again restrict activity and those organisations must be ready to respond accordingly. The detection of a positive COVID-19 case in a sporting or recreation club or organisation will result in a standard public health response, which could include quarantine of the group, and close contacts, for the required period.  Due to the risks associated with large gatherings all walking club activities should limit those present to the minimum required to support the participants. All meeting venues should be assessed to ensure precautions are taken to minimise risk to those participating by accommodating social distancing requirements. Ideally, meeting points should be outside at the walk location and walk routes should favour loops or ‘there and back’ to avoid car-shuffles, noting many cars would not meet distancing requirements. Some walking clubs meet indoors prior to commencing walks or finish their walks with a social activity indoors. As recommended by the national guidelines, the current approach to club activities should focus on ‘get in, walk, get out’, minimising unnecessary contact in bathrooms and indoor areas. During Level B restrictions, walk leaders should choose clearly marked walking trails to minimise the likelihood of any first aid contact being required.  Ensure club safety protocols are in place, including a communication plan for each activity undertaken (e.g. mobile phones are carried, and numbers exchanged). Clubs and individuals should apply a graded return to mitigate injury risk, understanding that sudden increase in training load will predispose to injury.

All walks should be conducted with the social distancing and other requirements in place at the time, ensuring no contact between participants. This includes:

  • 1.5 metre minimum distance between participants
  • 4m2 minimum area per person
  • No single gathering shall exceed 10 people

For these purposes, a walk conducted by a club or involving club members is considered a gathering. Walks involving more than one club should not be held unless the total number attending is fewer than 10. Where a walking group exceeds 10 people, the walk should be split into 2 or more separate groups so that none exceed 10 people. If there is a possibility the number of people attending a walk will exceed 10, the leader should organise additional leaders for the separate groups. Where the groups intend to follow the same route, the leader of each following group must ensure that the group does not overlap or merge with the group ahead.

The configuration of each group shall not change during the walk. Except as necessary to deal with an emergency, participants should not move into a different group part way through the walk. Where possible, the walk participants should register with the walk leader before commencing. A simple record of all participants in each walk should be kept for at least 2 months to assist with contact tracing in the event a participant becomes unwell.

Steps for clubs to take prior to recommencing activities:

  • Provide advice to all participants not to return to club activities if in the last 14 days they have been unwell or had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19. Any individual with respiratory symptoms (even if mild) should be considered a potential case and must immediately self-isolate, have COVID-19 excluded and be medically cleared by a doctor to return to the training environment.
  • Create a club-specific protocol for recording walk participants and managing illness or injury (both during walks and if alerted to a participant’s illness after a club activity). Special consideration should be made for any participants with medical conditions as they may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.
  • Have cleaning protocols in place for any equipment and facilities utilised.
  • If relevant, provide hand hygiene (hand sanitisers) on entry and exit to meeting venues
  • Advise walk leaders to plan walks based upon the guidelines contained within this plan.
  • Communicate this plan (and any club-specific steps) to all club members.

Steps for all club members:

  • Apply personal hygiene (wash hands or use hand sanitisers) pre and post activities. Consider bringing hand-sanitizer for personal use.
  • Do not share drink bottles, food, cups, plates, or any utensils for cooking, eating or drinking, or other personal items.
  • Do not attend any walks or activities if unwell (contact doctor).
  • Spitting and clearing of nasal/respiratory secretions while walking must be strongly discouraged.
  • Thorough full body shower with soap before and after walking club activities (at home).
  • No socialising or group meal.

We’re calling on all local governments to prioritise projects that enable walking and cycling

COVID-19 has created a huge increase in walking activity. Walking SA, together with BISA, Bike SA and the Heart Foundation, calls on all local governments to prioritise projects that enable walking and cycling.

During COVID-19, more people have chosen to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. Participation in walking and cycling has significantly increased. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space and access to roads in our neighbourhoods is more important than ever. Walking SA encourages prioritisation of projects that enable active, safe and connected communities.

View statement (PDF)

The call

Letter from Walking SA, Heart Foundation, Bicycle Institute of South Australia and Bike SA.

11 May 2020

Dear Mayor, Councillors and CEO,

In these difficult and unprecedented times, we would like to congratulate you on your continued support of your community.

During COVID-19, more people are choosing to be active every day in local neighbourhoods. Participation in walking and cycling has significantly increased. The provision of footpaths and safe crossings, open space, and access to roads in our neighbourhoods are more important than ever.

We recognise that council budgets have been impacted both by a reduction in some forms of revenue, and by additional expenditure required due to the current situation. As you are re-assessing your budgets for the upcoming cycle, we encourage you to prioritise projects that enable active, safe, and connected communities.

We call on you for your commitment to:

  1. Shovel-ready walking and cycling projects. Increased budgets and commitment to delivering basic, safe and innovative walking infrastructure with construction and maintenance of: footpaths, safe pedestrian crossings and refuges, wider kerb ramps, signalised crossings with a shorter cycle and phasing to suit seniors, vision impaired, people with disabilities and children to safely cross the road
  2. Temporary street closures or shared zones to allow for people to safely walk and ride on local streets during COVID-19
  3. Slower designed streets and speed limit reduction for all people to walk and cycle safely
  4. Wider, connected and safe footpaths (which also allows for essential physical distancing)
  5. Better shading of all paths through tree planting and shading structures
  6. Local mixed used and multi-generational parks, playgrounds, nature play and green space that create community hubs and destinations within walking/cycling distance of homes
  7. Separated walking pathways from bicycles, e-bikes and e- scooters in high traffic or commuter routes
  8. Removal of slip lanes that cause unnecessary risk to walkers and riders, or an addition of zebra crossings until slip lanes have been removed
  9. Commitment to implement your local walking and cycling strategies, preferably integrated into an overall active transport and recreation strategy. Develop strategies if
  10. Liveable and active streets designed for all: children and our more vulnerable walking or wheeling residents
  11. Investment in walking programs (10,000 Steps, Heart Foundation Walking, parkrun and local bushwalking groups) through local funding, resources and supportive

We know how important a safe and healthy community is to you. Walking and cycling facilities are one of the lowest cost services that you can provide to your residents to improve their health and wellbeing, generate better community cohesion and create benefits for local business.

Thank you for your interest in supportive active communities. We would be happy to talk to you about how you can support our organisations and the localised active travel and recreation of neighbourhoods for your residents, businesses, and visitors.

For any further queries, contact Helen Donovan, Executive Director helen.donovan@walkingsa.org.au or 0457 006 620 on behalf of Walking SA, the Bicycle Institute of South Australia, Bike SA and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

On behalf of Walking SA, Heart Foundation, Bicycle Institute of South Australia and Bike SA.

Help us to add more trails to our list of walks

We’re seeking info on just over 200 unlisted trails, so that we can expand our popular list of walks on our website. Currently with 630 walks listed around the state, it helps people to explore walking opportunities near them.

Remember during these Covid-19 times, you’ll need to follow social distancing and health measures, including any limitations on group size. Also note, whilst national parks and forests are open, some private locations remain closed at this time.

Trails we are seeking info on

We have a shortlist of 200 trails and walks we are seeking information on:

  1. view all walks on a map (200)
  2. or Doc #1: List of Bushwalks (143)
  3. or Doc #2: List of Suburban walks (43)
  4. or Doc #3: List of Historical walks (16)

Trails sorted by regions

You can view the same docs of trails we are seeking info on, but filtered by region:

Bushwalks (143) by regions:

Suburban walks (43) by regions:

To provide info on a trail

If you are interested to provide information for a trail, please let us know via the form below so we can update our spreadsheet to note that you are collecting information, so we can avoid multiple people doing the same work.

To add a marked trail or named trail (or a walk from our shortlist) to our website, please visit:
https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/submit-a-walk/

Before submitting your walk

Please ensure:

  • The walk is a named or marked trail, or one where directions are easy to follow
  • If the walk is not listed above on the trails we are seeking info on, then check that the walk is not already listed in our Find a Place to Walk directory
  • The walk is on public land (such as a reserve, park, pathway or beach). If the walk is on private land, that the landowner permits walking
  • The walk is in South Australia

Info we’re looking for on each trail

  • name of trail
  • brief description and the best thing about the trail
  • where to find maps
  • some photos
  • on some trails, some GPS data like a GPX file exported from a GPS device, smartphone or smartwatch (popular apps include Strava, or on iPhone myTracks or Open GPX Tracker, or on Andriod GPS Logger, or GPS Logger by BasicAirData)

Let us know you are going to provide information

If you are interested to provide information for a trail, please let us know via the form below so we can update our spreadsheet to note that you are collecting information, so we can avoid multiple people doing the same work.