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Outdoor Council of Australia - 'Australia’s outdoors is still OPEN'

OCAlogo.jpgMonday, 30th March 2020.

Outdoor sector leaders are urging the public to exercise outdoors while practicing good social distancing.

The Outdoor Council of Australia, national peak body for outdoor activities, is reminding members of the public that the outdoors is still open and can play a vital role in maintaining community health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis. Outdoor spaces remain available for individuals and families to exercise in accordance with government health guidance.

The outdoors sector supports government restrictions on aspects of daily life in the effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 across our country. We encourage the public to stay abreast of the latest guidance via the Government websites and other sources of reliable information.

The current guidance, as at Monday 30th March 2020, allows people who are not self-isolating or
unwell, to leave their homes to exercise in household groups or no more than two people together (if from different households). Parks and open spaces remain open for individuals and families to get outside and active.

The public is directed to strictly follow social  distancing guidelines while exercising outside and close to home, which is strongly endorsed by Australia’s outdoor sector leaders.

Outdoor activities in natural settings directly contribute to positive benefits in physical and mental health. Utilising the outdoors, close to our homes, will make it easier for all of us to continue to adhere to the official guidelines and preserve the health of the entire community in the long term while contributing to our own health and well-being.

Being active outdoors remains a great way to combat the negative effects of the situation our society is facing.

To maintain a healthy mindset and contribute to long-term wellbeing, the Outdoor Council of Australia recommends that individuals and families:

  1. Enjoy outdoor activities in your local area, while practicing good social distancing and hygiene measures at all times.
  2. Avoid travelling out to campsites or parks in regional communities.
  3. Avoid travelling to known popular areas in order to reduce the risks of groups gathering in one place.
  4. Stay close to home – consider low risk, familiar activities in local areas, such as a local walking/jogging path or a bike ride.
  5. Keep active by travelling on bike or foot – if you still need to commute, now is the time to embrace active transport, if possible.
  6. Ensure outdoor play and outdoor learning opportunities that comply with government guidelines are available to children.

Continue to check websites for the status of local parks, as you may find more popular places closed to the public. Neighbourhoods are not locked down at this time. There are footpaths and bike paths, roads and trails, rivers and beaches where you can get outdoors and be active while maintaining social distancing and hygiene protocols. Enjoy your local outdoors responsibly!

For inquiries contact the Outdoor Council of Australia Secretary via email at secretariat@outdoorcouncil.asn.au

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