Walkers on the summit of Helvellyn in the Lake District. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Walkers on the summit of Helvellyn in the Lake District. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Outdoor enthusiasts are being asked to keep their activities within within their capabilities in an effort to reduce the necessity of being rescued.

Mountain rescuers said people should still get outdoors, but not take any unnecessary risks.

Mountain Rescue England and Wales, the umbrella body for teams south of the border, said if anyone does need to contact the police to request teams’ help, they should inform officers if they suspect they may have the Covid-19 virus or have been in contact with someone who has it.

“That way, teams can be prepared,” a spokesperson said.

“MREW’s priority is resilience, making sure that as many of its trained volunteers are as available as possible for callouts.

“This means reducing face-to-face meetings – and using online equivalents – and postponing all but essential training so that we reduce the chances of spread among our volunteers.

“We’re also aware that a lot of mountain rescue volunteers have day jobs that will be important in the coming weeks and months: paramedics, NHS staff etc, so we need to be enabling them to stay well and focus on that work.”

MREW chairman Mike France said: “Being outdoors has all sorts of health benefits – mental and physical – and we are happy to encourage individuals to get outdoors.

“However, at the moment, we ask people not to take any unnecessary risks. If they are going to go out, they should walk, climb and cycle well within their capabilities so that they’re more likely to stay safe.”

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