Information - - 28 Days Later - Current Stance on Urban Exploring (Urbex) - 19/05/2020 | Messages from Admin | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Information - 28 Days Later - Current Stance on Urban Exploring (Urbex) - 19/05/2020


A quick update on the 28 Days Later stance on whether you should be exploring at the moment. Given that there will not be any formal announcement that people can start this activity again. Since lock down 28DL has not condoned anyone exploring for obvious reasons and the general consensus is most regulars will continue to follow this approach.

While the UK has been in lockdown over the past couple of months, it has been pretty clear to everyone (Well the vast majority of people) that Urban Exploring (Urbex) was not something that could take place whilst complying with the Government’s requirements to stay at home and only go out if totally necessary. On the 10th of May, the Prime Minister gave a speech outlining a shift in policy that introduced a few changes to the ‘rules’. On the 11th of May this was followed with a document giving more details about what would be allowed. This document can be read or downloaded here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884760/Our_plan_to_rebuild_The_UK_Government_s_COVID-19_recovery_strategy.pdf.

The ease on restrictions are only applicable to England as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own guidelines in place. Exploring in either Scotland or Wales would not fit into their current guidelines no matter how much you try and bend the rules.

In Short...

Urban exploring or urbex is a grey area in its legality for starters so there will never be a green light to start again. The main things to consider are that if you do hurt yourself it will often involve multiple deployment of the emergency services due to the nature and location of the place being explored. The ambulance service, police service and fire brigade are all stretched at the moment, nevermind bringing in the voluntary services of the mountain or cave rescue.

Off the back of that you will then end up at the least in A&E to be fixed up, again something that is not required at the moment. Never mind the risk of you either passing on Covid 19 or getting it yourself.

Urban exploring has a lot of media following and there have already been reported cases of explorers being rescued during the lockdown. The majority of the structures we explore will still be there well after lockdown has finished, they are not in anyway part of your daily exercise allowance or something that the government has allowed to take place. Other sports have resumed which comparisons can be drawn on, so a bit of common sense is the best approach with exploring.

The other complication with exploring is that if you are caught this will inevitably involve other 3rd parties such as security guards or the police, sometimes both. This needs to be considered as you are potentially putting them at risk if they intervene.

We do love seeing peoples reports of what and where they have been, but given the current divisive attitudes as to whether exploring is acceptable or not at the moment be prepared possibly for the odd negative comment.

We ask that if you return to Urban Exploring that you consider the following things:

Does my intended activity fall within the current legally permissible exercise and travel guidance from the UK Government?

Am I fit and able enough to undertake this trip? Am I exploring well within my ability level to reduce the chance of an accident resulting in the need for rescue?

How can I guarantee that I will not encounter other explorers outside my household on this trip?

How will the public and rural communities perceive explorers returning to their ‘risky’ sport in this current situation? Discretion and not sharing your exploits on social media are needed more now than ever. In the main people are now more aware of strange people in their area and will often resort to posting photos of them and their cars to social media as well as phoning the police.

From page 27 of the Government’s recent guidance:

“... it is important that everyone continues to act responsibly, as the large majority have done to date. The infection rate will increase if people begin to break these rules and, for example, mix in groups, which will trigger the need for further restrictions.”


Page 27 of the recent Government document states “People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.
This would indicate that travel to Exploring areas would now be allowed.


Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the police, ambulance service, fire brigade and mountain and cave rescue teams of the UK have remained on call and available to help those who need them, wherever that may be. People wishing to resume exploring (Urbex) activities should consider the following points highlighted by rescue teams across the UK.
  • The normal emergency services are stretched dealing with Covid 19
  • UK voluntary rescue teams may have reduced medical capability currently as many Casualty Carers are NHS workers and as such, may not be available for call outs.
  • Rescue teams may be operating on reduced numbers owing to team members isolating due to illness or to shield vulnerable people in their household.
  • Equipment used on a rescue will need to be disinfected before it can be used again. This means that vital kit that was used recently on a rescue elsewhere, may not be available to you if you need it.
  • Even if totally unaware, you or any of the emergency service / rescue team members could be carrying Covid-19 and act as a vector for transmission to all people present on a rescue.

To reiterate, 28 Days Later is not here to police exploring (Urbex) activities and believes that it is down to individuals to assess whether it is legally and morally right to resume exploring activities at this time. 28 Days Later would urge anyone considering a return to exporing to fully consider all aspects of the explore they are contemplating and assess for themselves if that activity meets all the legal requirements of the current Government guidance on exercise and social distancing.

Be safe and stay well.
Last edited by a moderator:


grumpy sod
Regular User
It's also worth noting that in Wales for instance the old guidance hadn't changed, Wales, Scotland and NI are apparently following their own set of rules separate from that announced in Westminster.

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
It's also worth noting that in Wales for instance the old guidance hadn't changed, Wales, Scotland and NI are apparently following their own set of rules separate from that announced in Westminster.
It's been updated to reflect the differences now, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have more restraints on what you can do than England.