Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge publishes a guide of measures and recommendations to responsibly visit natural spaces and protected areas

With this guide, MITECO encourages a reunion with nature in the new normal, a practice beneficial both for the health of citizens and for the local economy.

Natural environments play a fundamental role in Spanish tourism, as they not only have a high landscape value, but also help promote health and prevent disease. To do this, MITECO establishes a series of guidelines that guarantee the safety of citizens and the environment, recommending that physical distance measures are respected, visits are organized in advance, crowds are avoided, and due precautions are maintained.

The interactive guide is available to download at this link on the MITECO website and can be shared on social networks.

Decalogue to enjoy nature in times of COVID-19

1. Nature is health and well-being

It is scientifically proven that being in nature brings us multiple benefits and strengthens our immune system. By approaching it we will be able to feel and understand that we continue to depend on its inhabitants and processes. Nature is our first medicine.

2. Prepare your visit

The competent authorities will establish whether protected areas and other natural spaces are open to the public. Check the situation of your destination in advance to ensure which areas and services will be available. Take everything you need with you. Reserve and respect the permitted capacity.

3. Always take care of your health and the health of others

Maintain the social safety distance and take all possible precautions to prevent COVID-19. If you visit a protected space, pay attention to the instructions of the responsible personnel and follow the safety instructions established. Carry hand sanitizer in case water is not available and a mask.

4. Avoid crowded or crowded areas

Avoid natural areas where you cannot keep a safe distance from other people. If you go in small groups or go on solo excursions, you will help prevent infections.

5. Follow the specific recommendations for beaches and bathing areas

Beaches and rivers are sensitive areas in which to pay special attention.

6. Know your limits

Enjoy nature but postpone new or difficult activities for the future. This will help emergency services, environmental agents and health services to focus on the response to the pandemic. If you visit natural areas or practice outdoor sports make sure to always carry everything you need and that the activity you do is within your capabilities.

7. Keep your health status in mind

If you feel unwell or have been sick or exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days, do not leave home, do not go on excursions or visit natural areas. You can always enjoy the virtual tour tools that many spaces have. If you feel ill or sick during your visit, return to your home as soon as possible and / or go to a health center.

8. Leave no trace

When you walk a path or a path in the forest, cross a natural site, go to a bird observatory or do any other activity in nature, remember: do not leave any trace of your passage, that there is no waste or any alteration .

9. Respect nature

In these last months of the pandemic, nature has had a respite from human activity. Let us ensure that the visits are respectful so as not to disturb the flora and fauna. If you transit or drive on rural roads, exercise extreme caution since the animals have become unaccustomed to human presence.

10. Help local businesses

Visit natural areas near your residence and help improve its economic environment. Try to choose local companies in the nearby environment to rest, taste the local cuisine; take guided tours and buy local products. With your spending you help the local economy.

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