Coronavirus: 'Travelling to Scotland's hills stops now'

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image source, Lomond MRT
image captionLomond MRT on one of its three call-outs over the weekend

Scottish Mountain Rescue has appealed to people not to visit Scotland's hills and mountains during the coronavirus outbreak.

The plea follows government concerns about people travelling from across the UK to the Highlands and Islands.

Skye, Braemar and Lomond were among volunteer teams on call-outs over the weekend.

Glencoe MRT has said it will only respond immediately to serious incidents.

Lochaber MRT has also warned that "normal service" can not be guaranteed and said the "best thing" people could do was stay at home.

'Social responsibilities'

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service said "now was the time to avoid unnecessary mountain activities and consider our social responsibilities".

The warnings come amid efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Scottish Mountain Rescue, which represents more than 20 Scottish rescue teams, said: "All travelling to the hills stops now for all of us.

"There will be plenty of help needed in your communities in coming weeks and we need to look after ours."

Skye MRT carried out a "tricky" nine-hour rescue of two French walkers in the Cuillin hills on Saturday.

Earlier, the team had helped a group of four walkers on the Trotternish Ridge.

Walking wounded

Braemar responded to two call-outs over the weekend.

Lomond MRT rescued a lost walker, a fallen runner and a walker with a fractured leg.

Glencoe MRT said people who found themselves lost or stuck in the mountains should consider waiting until the following morning, or improved weather conditions, to be helped.

It said "walking wounded" might have to get themselves off the hills and to safety.

The team said it would respond to incidents involving serious injuries, but with the "bare minimum" of members.

Glencoe said the difficult decisions were being taken to protect team members and the wider public.