Men’s group scraps Glencoe gathering amid virus concerns

The group was planning five days of activities in the Glencoe area, pictured, later this month. NO F15 Glencoe
The group was planning five days of activities in the Glencoe area, pictured, later this month. NO F15 Glencoe

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A men’s group which had been planning to host a 62-strong gathering over five days in Glencoe later this month says the event has now been cancelled due to concerns over coronavirus restrictions possibly being breached.

According to its website, the Manchester-headquartered charity, OutdoorLads, runs a range of sociable outdoor activities for gay, bisexual and trans men right across the UK and further afield.

These gatherings are usually based around activities such as hiking, climbing, camping, biking, canoeing, scrambling, running and sailing, as well as purely social events.

However, after the Lochaber Times was notified of some local concern that members of the group were still planning to travel to Glencoe, despite the event officially being cancelled by organisers, and that coronavirus guidance restricting the number of people who can gather outdoors to members of up to five households and a maximum of 15 people in total might be breached as a result, we contacted OutdoorLads.

OutdoorLads programme manager, Liam Russell, told us: ‘We did have a programme of events planned for later this month, which was arranged well before lockdown started in March. Since then, we have been monitoring closely the situation.

‘With the current situation in mind, we cancelled the programme of events to help keep everyone safe. However, you should be aware that although there were 62 people booked to attend on at least one of the days, it was never intended that all those people are together at any one time.

‘Rather, they would be taking part in a variety of different activities each day in far smaller groups and staying at a variety of different accommodation providers.

‘We fully understand the guidance about Covid and appreciate that it applies to all of us. That is why we have cancelled the event, and closed the Telegram channel that members had been using to keep in touch about it.

‘We have discussed this with the local police and informed them of the same. For clarity, there was never any intention of people meeting in groups that would contravene the guidance.’