The MBA has reopened its bothies in Scotland and Wales. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The MBA has reopened its bothies in Scotland and Wales. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Bothies in Scotland and Wales are reopening, after the nations’ governments removed most Covid-19 restrictions.

The Mountain Bothies Association said the buildings would again be available for responsible use by outdoor enthusiasts.

The move follows the reopening of the bothies cared for by the charity in England on 19 July. The 103 huts and shelters looked after by the MBA were closed at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.

MBA chairman Simon Birch said: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have adopted the position that our shelters are closed and we would like to thank all those responsible MBA members and the general public who have complied with that request.

“Covid-19 has not gone away and governments are advising that everyone should remain vigilant and continue to take precautions to stop the further spread of the virus.

“We are therefore asking bothy users to make their own risk assessment before deciding to visit and to exercise personal responsibility while they are there. We are also asking that they follow some straightforward guidelines. By doing so they will protect both themselves and others.”

The association said bothy visitors should make themselves aware of, and follow, all current government health guidelines.

The MBA said people should not set off to visit a bothy if they have symptoms. “We recommend that they also take a lateral flow test even if they don’t have symptoms,” it said. People should also always take a tent and consider using it to sleep in if others are present in a bothy.

Visitors should also take and use personal protective equipment, such as face masks and sanitising fluid. They should also ventilate the building by opening windows and doors, while remembering to shut the door when they leave.

When leaving the bothy, people should take with them everything they brought in, including rubbish, so that the potential to leave the virus on the surfaces of discarded items is eliminated.

Visitors are expected to follow the bothy code and always be respectful, courteous, and tolerant of others.

The association also reminded outdoor enthusiasts that the stalking season in Scotland has started and visitors to bothies are asked to show discretion regarding access. Details of restrictions are on the Mountain Bothies Association website.

The MBA undertakes the restoration and maintenance of old cottages, huts and similar buildings for use as open shelters for outdoor enthusiasts. It currently maintains 103 bothies and two emergency shelters: 84 in Scotland, 12 in northern England and nine in Wales.

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