Coronavirus: Micro Events FAQ
This is an FAQ about our micro events as we restart some outdoors activities as lockdown is eased. We'll update this page from time to time and as government guidelines evolve.
Still got questions? Feel free to drop us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
What are micro events?
Micro events are our small, modest start on getting back to having some outdoors events, typically these events are at the easier end of the scale. They operate within current government guidance – for now, that means in England only, and restricted to six people maximum, including the leader – hence we’re calling them “Micro events.”
Why are you putting on these micro events now?
We want to support the mental and physical wellbeing of our members, with outdoors events. Consultation has told us that there is an appetite for returning to some small events, and that many people are doing similar now anyway with other friends and family.
Are micro events safe?
There is an inherent risk with anything outside your own home at present, obviously. We can’t guarantee that there is no risk, as of course there is. However, we are following guidelines on numbers, encouraging social distancing, and keeping the events on the easier side, for now. In signing up to attend, members acknowledge that there is still a risk, and they acknowledge that and that they are happy to attend.
By signing up to and attending an OutdoorLads micro event, you acknowledge that you have read and accept our Micro Events Participation Statement, which is on every event page.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or who lives with or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
Who can attend?
All our members, including our PAYG members, can attend, assuming they live in England, neither they nor anyone in their household or support bubble shows any coronavirus symptoms, and they are happy with their personal risks in taking part. However, we’d really like those who live alone or who have struggled with lockdown to see this as an opportunity to get outdoors with us. We can’t and won't police that, but if you don’t consider yourself to fit that description, perhaps let others have first dibs on booking spaces on these events, please!
What are the rules for these micro events?
Much as we don’t like having rules, needs must! So that everyone is clear, here’s what’s expected of all attending a micro event:
- Take place in England only, no straying across the borders during the event! No attendees to travel from Scotland or Wales to take part.
- Limited to six people maximum, including the leader.
- Planned to be around a maximum duration of five hours.
- Can take place from Saturday 27 June 2020 onwards.
- For now, events can be leisure walks, lowland and hill walks below 500 metres high, road cycling not likely to exceed 10mph, leisure cycling and mountain biking on green and blue routes. This is to keep events as risk-free as possible. Don’t worry, we’ll return to our full set of event types in due course, this is just the start!
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
- Please join events within around one hour’s travel from your home, rather than travelling longer distances to get there.
- All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m apart at all times, including the lunch stop.
- Unfortunately, no planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, no sharing of snacks – we’re sorry!
- Public transport use to the start point is discouraged, as this is a non-essential journey. No car sharing to the start point. In urban areas, start points convenient for walking and cycling are encouraged.
- These events are to avoid “honeypot” areas wherever possible, and to select start points where with consideration for local residents, especially in relation to parking.
- All attendees encouraged to bring their own hand sanitising gel for their own use throughout the day. Use of face coverings is at the individuals choice.
- All attendees to attend only one OutdoorLads micro event a week. Leaders to leave at least three days between events.
- Midweek events encouraged – lots of people on furlough and it’s quieter in the week!
- On walks, one person to hold open gates and allow everyone to walk through – so minimising surfaces that multiple people touch.
- Please, please cancel at your earliest opportunity if you are unable to attend or are unwell, so that we can allow others to take up these valuable event spaces.
- Much as it's difficult - no handshakes or hugs!
Why are event types restricted?
This isn’t OutdoorLads getting back to what we usually do – it’s a modest, first steps towards enabling our members to get back outdoors. Our full range of events will be back in the fullness of time. To begin with, we want to keep events on the lower risk types to reduce any potential pressure on emergency and medical services and to fulfil our insurance requirements.
How far ahead can micro events be made live on the website?
We’ll publish micro events a maximum of three weeks ahead of the date they are due to take place, to give some flexibility if government guidance changes.
Will leaders fill events with their personal friends?
No – we’re asking leaders specifically not to do this, but to ensure there are places available for members they aren’t personal friends with to take part.
Can leaders run two events back to back on the same day / Can I attend several events over a weekend?
No, this would increase the potential exposure to coronavirus. We’re asking each person to only attend one OutdoorLads micro event per week, and leaders to leave three days between events they lead.
When will there be events in Wales and Scotland?
We will start to allow events in Wales and Scotland as regulations are relaxed sufficiently to make them possible. We do have a plan we’re working to, which essentially is to follow government guidance as it changes. Until then, we still have a range of our #StayInMore virtual events which members can access.
There aren’t any events on local to me, or they are full – can I travel further afield?
We are dependent upon our leaders wanting to put these events on, and we’re not pressurising leaders to do so – everyone needs to be comfortable with what they do and act in accordance with their own risk profile. We understand too that capacity is limited and demand is likely to outstrip supply. Please bear with us – we’re trying to make a modest start on #GettingOutMore again at this stage. If you live in England, you can travel further afield to attend an event, but we’d ask that you keep travel to a minimum and try to focus on events that are within an hour’s drive of your home.
If you live in Scotland or Wales, you’ll not be able to take part in these micro events for now, but these events will evolve to include you as government guidelines change.
What's happening with hostel and camping events this year?
We'd booked many hostel venues for 2020, which aren't yet live on the website. Many of these will be moved into 2021 now. Hostel events that are live, we have a watching brief over and will message those signed up accordingly - however the two hostel events in July are postponed. We are working closely with partners such as the YHA on the hostel events that people have booked onto and will update you as and when we can.
Camping is allowed under the government's announcement on 23 June 2020 - we're still digesting the guidance and any restrictions / practicalities and will update this as we can. However, our ambition is for plenty of small-ish camping events this season to allow as many people as possible to get out and about! Watch this space.