Last week the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) issued a statement of guidance for all of us outdoorsy people stating that it was permissable to venture outdoors despite the COVID-19 threat, so long as social distancing was adhered to. Today, the BMC have given further advice, contradicting that which was issued a few days ago.
The latest advice now issued is in line with the government's pleas - to stay home and only head outside when it is essential.
This message has come from several bodies, including Mountain Rescue teams, police and of course the government. PM Boris Johnson announced that "It is very important for people's mental and physical wellbeing that they should be able to get out and exercise if they possibly can. Parks and open areas are so absolutely critical for our country and for our society, but when we do that we have to do it responsibly."
However, following recent events whereby people flocked to beaches, the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia, further measures would be enforced if society didn't adhere to the social distancing guidelines.
The advice given by the BMC is now straight forward: Climbing and hill walking are not activities requiring essential travel and therefore should be avoided. Stay local, and put your climbing and hill walking should be put on hold.
"We never thought we'd be telling our members not to go climbing or hill walking, but that's our currnet advice. It's time to put it on hold" said Dave Turnbull, BMC CEO.
“Stay in your home area. We all owe it to everyone else to do everything we can to help stop or at least delay the spread of this disaster. Please put climbing, mountaineering and hill walking on hold until it's safe to do so.”
So, for now guys and girls, stay at home and stay safe. After all, the mountain's and cliffs aren't going anywhere any time soon.