SNP MSP Bruce Crawford has called on people across [area] to stay at home this Easter weekend to help save lives and protect our NHS.

The MSP for Stirling said no one should be travelling to [area] and other rural areas and that doing so not only risks spreading Covid-19 but puts an unnecessary burden on local healthcare providers and essential services.

The right of access does continue to apply and exercise remains an important part of physical and mental wellbeing during the current crisis but the Scottish Government have stressed that it must be done responsibly.

During the current emergency, everyone should:

  • Stay local – do not travel in your car to take exercise; please make use of the paths, open spaces and quiet roads in your own local area
  • Maintain your distance – stay at least 2 metres away from other people and avoid busy times on popular paths or places
  • Respect the health and safety of farmers and others working the land – follow all reasonable requests and signs to avoid particular areas such as farmyards, fields with pregnant or young livestock, and other busy working areas
  • Keep your dog under control – put them on a lead or keep them close at heel and do not let them approach other people or livestock
  • Avoid contact – try to avoid touching surfaces and plan a route that does not require you to open gates
  • The Scottish Outdoor Access Code requires that people walking dogs act responsibly, take notice of any signs, and prevent their dogs from scaring or attacking any livestock.
  • Farmers and other land managers are entitled, and indeed encouraged, to put up signs when they have pregnant or young livestock in a field.
  • If threatened by cattle, release your dog and take the shortest route out of the field. As always pick up and remove all waste.

Crucially, no one should be driving to take their daily exercise. By ensuring that we continue to strictly abide by these measures, we will protect the NHS and save lives.

SNP MSP Bruce Crawford said:

“This is a temporary situation and it is more important now than ever to maintain good relationships between neighbours and within communities.

“This is not about restricting the general right of responsible access to land but it is part of the wider approach to prevent COVID-19 deaths and preserving the nation’s food supplies.

“Of course, exercise remains extremely important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing during the current crisis.

“Even simple activities such as getting out for a walk can greatly improve our wellbeing during this difficult time. But it is crucial to keep it local and follow social distancing guidelines set out by the government.

“The best way to beat the pandemic is to stop the spread of the virus – and for this reason, it is essential potential people stay at home, and give our NHS a chance to save lives.”