Face masks are encouraged when not climbing, eating or drinking
Update 13th September: there are no longer legal requirements on mask wearing in England, but the government has said that it's still "expected and recommended" to wear a mask in busy indoor spaces where possible. We therefore continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask in the centre while they're not actively climbing.
In line with the latest advice from the Association of British Climbing Walls and industry standards, our current face masks policy is that:
We encourage the use of masks when you're not climbing
Wearing face coverings in busy indoor settings is encouraged to help slow the spread of covid-19. We have various other covid measures in place at the centre to mitigate the spread of the virus, including excellent ventilation and an increased cleaning schedule, but we appreciate the efforts of everyone who continues to wear a face covering particularly when they're interacting with our staff or talking to people from outside their own household.
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 decide not to wear a mask during your climbing session, please take care to respect the social distance of other people not in your own household/bubble.
If you’re having a break and just having a chat with people, please consider wearing a mask. If you are not climbing yourself but just supervising another climber, we encourage you to wear a mask.
When do I have to wear a mask?
Mask wearing is no longer a legal requirement, but we encourage the use of masks at all times when you're not climbing. This includes when you are:
- checking in or out for your climb
- browsing / purchasing items in our shop
- getting changed for your session
- having a break during your climbing session.
Why are masks encouraged?
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. 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 the mask rules will change again in the future?
We will continue to monitor the situation and most up-to-date advice closely, and reserve the right to change 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.
Thanks to everyone for their efforts in helping us keep our climbing centre safe.
James & Tom
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