Face masks are mandatory unless climbing, eating or drinking
We're making our masks policy clearer to bring it in line with the latest advice from the Association of British Climbing Walls:
Masks are encouraged at all times, and are mandatory unless you are climbing, eating or drinking.
We’ve put together some further explanation below:
What does “climbing” mean?
By “climbing”, we mean that you’re:
- in a designated climbing area
- climbing yourself (not just supervising), and
- in the middle of your climbing session.
If you’re climbing without a mask, we don’t expect you to replace masks between every climb you attempt (touching your mask / face repeatedly is best avoided) – but if you’re having an extended break and just having a chat with people, please replace your mask. If you are not climbing yourself but just supervising another climber, you should wear a mask.
If you decide to remove your mask during your climbing session, please take extra care to distance yourself from other climbers on the ground and keep at least 2m from people not in your own household/bubble.
When do I have to wear a mask?
Please wear a mask at all other times, unless you are eating or drinking in the café. This includes when you are:
- checking in or out for your climb
- browsing / purchasing items in our shop
- getting changed for your session
- having an extended break during your climbing session.
Do mask wearing exemptions apply?
Yes, normal exemptions from mask wearing apply – e.g. children under the age of 11, for medical reasons, etc.
Why are masks encouraged at all times?
The current best advice from scientists and government is that wearing a face covering helps to prevent person-to-person transmission of covid-19, particularly given that it is possible to spread the virus even if you’re not displaying any symptoms (i.e. if you are “asymptomatic”). When you wear a mask, you are helping protect other people, and when other people wear masks they are helping to protect you. We think that the simplest way to avoid unintentionally spreading to virus to other people is to wear a mask at all times, including while you climb, and many climbers choose to do this. Our industry body, the Association of British Climbing walls, currently advises that with good ventilation, hand sanitising, and social distancing, there is a low risk of transmission in climbing areas, so they do not currently mandate the use of masks while people are climbing. However, we encourage climbers to take that extra step if they are able to do so.
Is there a chance that mask wearing will be mandatory at all times in the future?
We will continue to monitor the situation and most up-to-date advice closely, and reserve the right to further strengthen our masks policy in the future if we feel it’s necessary.
I’m not comfortable with the new rules, can I freeze my membership and come back when things are back to normal?
Yes, that’s not a problem, just let us know.
We know this is a very strange time for everyone and we are doing our best to keep our centre safe for our staff and all our customers. We’re very grateful to everyone for following the rules and helping us achieve this.
James & Tom
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