Stay Local, Stay Apart & Stay Safe in the Outdoors

18 May 2020
Caroline O'Mahony

Agencies and organisations involved in the delivery and promotion of outdoor amenities have welcomed the recognition of the importance of the outdoor recreation in Phase 1 of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

Outdoor recreation plays an important role in supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of society and people are encouraged to enjoy the outdoors while adhering to Government protocols and public health guidelines.

One significant change in Phase 1 means that from May 18th, people can exercise using outdoor public amenities - either on their own or in a group of no more than 4 people - where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact with other people.

As part of a phased reintroduction of opportunities to be active in the outdoors, and recognising the over-riding principles of the Government’s Roadmap, a nationwide approach to participating in outdoor recreation has been adopted.

Agencies and organisations are advising members of the public to:

  • Follow Government protocols and public health guidelines
  • Stay local and within a 5km radius of your home for exercise
  • Exercise with members of your household or a maximum of 3 people from outside your household
  • Observe physical distancing by keeping at least 2 metres apart
  • Park legally and responsibly if driving to outdoor amenities
  • Keep dogs on a lead at all times
  • Respect the natural environment and dispose of waste properly


The outdoors is a valuable amenity for all members of society to enjoy. People are encouraged to take personal responsibility and adhere to the spirit of the guidance so that the outdoors remains accessible to all for the duration of restrictions.

For more information on being active in the outdoors, visit:

Sport Ireland Outdoors: www.sportireland.ie/outdoors

Forest Recreation : www.coillte.ie

National Parks: www.npws.ie

Heritage Sites: www.opw.ie

Leave No Trace Ireland : www.leavenotraceireland.org

Inland Waterways: www.waterwaysireland.org

Beach Information: www.beaches.ie


This Statement is endorsed by:

  • Angling Council of Ireland
  • Athletics Ireland
  • Canoeing Ireland
  • CARA
  • Coillte
  • Comhairle na Tuaithe
  • Cycling Ireland
  • Dept. of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht
  • Department of Rural and Community Development
  • Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
  • Dublin Mountains Partnership
  • Education Boards Ireland
  • Fáilte Ireland
  • Get Ireland Walking
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland
  • Irish Farmer’s Association
  • Irish Orienteering Association
  • Kildare County Council
  • Leave No Trace
  • Mountain Rescue Ireland
  • Mountaineering Ireland
  • National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • Office of Public Works (OPW)
  • Rowing Ireland
  • Sailing Ireland
  • Sport Ireland
  • Swim Ireland
  • Triathlon Ireland
  • The Heritage Council 
  • Visitor Safety Group (VIS)
  • Waterford City and County Council
  • Waterways Ireland
  • Wicklow County Council
  • Wicklow Uplands Council

Phase 1 commences from Monday, 18 May and introduces some relaxations that affect outdoor activity. The advice provided below relates to Phase 1. This advice will be updated as we move through the phases or if there are any changes in the advice from government. While the government still advises people to stay at home as much as possible to minimise the spread of Covid-19, it is permitted to exercise in the outdoors within 5km from your home.