Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “I share everyone’s relief that Scotland is seeing significant progress on reducing the spread of infection across Scotland and that we can now move to Phase Two. However, I am also very conscious that this is still a pandemic and we all have a vital role to play in moving out of lockdown safely together.
“As frustrating as it may be, travelling to other areas, especially places like popular areas of the National Park where lots of other people are likely to be, still risks spreading or catching the infection.
“That’s why the national guidance on outdoor activities and staying away from beauty spots like the National Park is not changing yet.
“To reinforce this guidance all National Park facilities, including car parks and toilets, remain closed and we’re continuing to ask people not to visit unnecessarily.
“As well as facilities being closed, a number of other measures, including road closures, temporary traffic orders blocking irresponsible parking and temporary speed limits are also still in place at key areas around the National Park.
“We continue to work with Police Scotland and our local authority partners to manage these issues and we are continuing our Ranger patrols on both land and Loch Lomond.
“Those who do live close enough to access the National Park for outdoor recreation are reminded to be mindful of these closures and measures and to also make sure that when they are out in the National Park that respect it and take their litter home with them.
“While we are not immediately opening facilities we are taking steps to plan for reopening in line with the stages outlined by the Scottish Government for business and tourism.
“We have been carrying out site clean ups, safety checks and maintenance work as well as detailed risk assessments in order to inform plans for how facilities can operate safely when they do reopen.
“This is complex and we take our responsibility for the safety of our staff and those using our services extremely seriously. We will not open a site or facility until we are confident that we have in place the appropriate procedures to keep people safe.
“Our initial priority will be to prepare for the reopening of car parks and toilets as these are the facilities that support the majority of visitors and a wide range of activities.
“When these facilities do open, they will not operate as they did before with reduced capacity and safety measures in place.
“Following that we will look to open up further facilities around the National Park in Phase Three.
“This includes facilities such as the Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway and our campsites and camping permit areas, which are used for more specific activities and need bespoke procedures in place to operate safely in line with public health guidance.
“I would also remind people that the Loch Lomond Byelaws and Camping Management Byelaws are still in effect.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners in local authorities and Forestry and Land Scotland to coordinate plans for reopening and share information with local communities and interest groups. We will also continue to share information with the public at each stage on our website.”
For more information go to our Covid-19 information page.