To follow these routes as safely as possible, follow our recommendations:
> Prepare in advance. Ensure you check up on the route you want to take, evaluate its technical characteristics, and analyse your physical condition.
> Wear appropriate clothing for the season and preferably soft, seamless walking boots and socks.
> Make sure you take enough water with you to stay hydrated, as well as a first aid kit.
> Before starting the route, warm up to get your body ready for the physical exercise ahead.
> Once you’ve finished the trail, make sure you stretch to help your muscles recover faster.
> Send a message to our Walking Trails Facebook page and tell us about your experience. Help other visitors enjoy our trails, and make sure you tag us in anything you may post!
RECOMMENDATIONS AS A RESULT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
4 pillars of prevention have been established based on recommendations made by the health authorities:
> Social distancing
> Hand washing
> Breathing etiquette
> Self-monitoring of symptoms
Also bare these additional measures in mind to ensure your safety and that of others.
Before you set off on a walking trail
> If you’re walking as part of a group, make sure you limit it to members of your household. By sticking to your bubble, you reduce the need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintain recommended distances. Groups must not exceed 10 people.
> Stay within your “comfort zone”. When choosing the route to take, minimise the risk of needing help from third parties, such as the emergency services, by selecting trails you are able to do comfortably.
> Make sure you check up on the trail’s specific page for information on the route, especially whether there are any specific recommendations and/or observations.
> Take your own PPE. Although we do not advise you to wear it for the whole trail, you should keep a prevention kit in the first aid kit in case it is necessary.
> Check for any COVID-19 symptoms before you set off. Should you have, or have had, any possible COVID-19 symptoms in the days prior to setting off on the trail, stay at home and follow recommendations issued by the health authorities.
> Avoid social interactions in common areas. Spend as little time as possible in places where people are likely to gather (car parks, near information panels, etc.) and try to keep to less popular times of day. If you come across other groups in these locations, try to keep your distance.
While on the route
> Do not wear a face mask. You should only wear a face mask if you are unable to maintain the social distancing regulations suggested.
> Keep a safe distance from other walkers. Keep 2 metres away from other people at stops and 4 metres away as you walk.
> Walk in the recommended direction. Follow the directions and signs, and avoid crossing paths with other walkers going in the opposite direction.
> Avoid stopping. If you need to stop, do so at least 2 metres away from the path.
> Give way. Whenever you need to overtake any groups going in the same direction, try to do so somewhere where you can maintain the recommended safety distance.
> Be especially careful of common surfaces and consider them all as potentially contaminated (gates, benches, handrails, etc.), using antibacterial gel on your hands before and after touching any of them.
> Be especially careful at points of interest. People may gather in these locations, so spend as little time there as possible. If people are already in a location, wait your turn and keep a distance.
> Should you start presenting with COVID-like symptoms, take the appropriate safety measures. Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate and wear PPE, as should all the members of their group, and you should call Portuguese Health Line 24 (808 24 24 24).