Clubs, Huts, Meets and current Covid-19 Restrictions

Posted by Jane Thompson on 11/08/2021

With government rules, regulations and guidance changing regularly it can be difficult for clubs to keep up with what they are allowed to do. This article summarises the BMC’s understanding of the constraints on club meets and access to huts, based on information available at the time and date of publication. Please remember to check for local changes that may affect your club or hut.

First produced: 21 October 2020

This version: 25 Aug, 16:00

 

General Considerations:

Please remember that legal minimums are just that – minimums.  Many organisations are asking their staff, volunteers and customers to go beyond these minimums, to provide both genuinely improved safety, and the reassurance that is essential for higher levels of use.  As with all other aspects of health and safety, people in any capacity are expected to take reasonable and appropriate steps to minimise their potential to harm those who may be affected by their acts or omissions.

As always, we have to stay within guidance and increasingly allow individuals to make their own choices.  Essentially indoor meets, outdoor meets and huts are operating as close to "normality" as the guidance allows if the club and their club members feel comfortable doing so, with common sense around mitigation procedures.  It is important for club committees to have conversations with their members to get their views on what they are comfortable with.

It would still seem sensible to encourage good hygiene (washing hands, sanitising etc.) and also, importantly, an open window policy in huts.  As we continue towards a fuller opening there is much more emphasis on personal assessments.  Those who are risk averse can always choose to avoid huts or busy meets, and those that are less concerned can use them with enhanced care.

Some parts of the country, with increasing infection rates, are asking visitors to consider their actions by delaying their visit, avoiding popular “honey-pot” areas and undertaking tests before departing from home.  Clubs may wish to support the local population in the areas they are visiting by adhering to the local requests to reduce transmission of the virus.

 

Specifics:

Huts – England

  • Huts in England are now permitted to re-open without a government-imposed capacity limit.
  • Hut operators still need to consider the risks from covid-19, in the same way that other risks are considered - through a risk assessment relevant to the property.
  • Consider that some members may still be cautious about attending a hut in large groups.  Hut operators still need to consider the steps they can take to help members feel comfortable in returning to using huts.
  • Click here for government advice on keeping safe following the move to Step 4 of the Roadmap.
  • Click here for BMC guidance on the re-opening of huts (in the process of being updated following the latest easing of restrictions, most principles are still relevant). 

 

Huts – Wales

  • Huts in Wales are now permitted to re-open, however the BMC is still waiting on further clarity from Welsh Government on some elements of the regulations.  This will be posted here if further steps are required of hut operators.
  • Hut operators are still required to undertake a specific assessment of the risk of exposure to coronavirus at the hut, and take appropriate steps to minimise those risks to all users of the hut (club members, visitors, volunteers, etc.)
  • Consider that some members may still be cautious about attending a hut in large groups.  Hut operators still need to consider the steps they can take to help members feel comfortable in returning to using huts.
  • Click here for government guidance on the move to Alert Level 0.
  • Click here for BMC guidance on the re-opening of huts (in the process of being updated following the latest easing of restrictions, most principles are still relevant). 
  • There is some financial support available for huts in Wales impacted by the forced closures – check out Covid-19 Support for Business for more information.

 

 

Club Meets (Outdoor) – England

This section is for meets based in England, if a club from England is holding a meet in Wales the points in the subsequent section must be followed.

  • There are no restrictions due to covid-19 for clubs or club members meeting in the outdoors.
  • Click here for government advice on keeping safe following the move to Step 4 of the Roadmap
  • Consider that some members may still be cautious about meeting up in large groups.  Clubs may wish to still use some of the steps contained in the guidance produced by the BMC to help members feel comfortable in returning to meets.
  • Car sharing in England is now permitted.

 

Club Meets (Outdoor) – Wales

This section is for meets based in Wales, if a club from Wales is holding a meet in England the points in the preceding section must be followed.

  • There are no number limits, due to covid-19, for clubs or club members meeting in the outdoors.
  • The organiser of an outdoor activity in Wales has a legal duty to undertake a covid specific risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to and spread of coronavirus.  Click here for more information.  Click here for the guidance produced by the BMC.
  • Consider that some members may still be cautious about meeting up in large groups.  Clubs may wish to still use some of the steps contained in the guidance produced by the BMC to help members feel comfortable in returning to meets.
  • Car sharing in Wales is now permitted, but consider wearing face coverings and keeping windows open for ventilation. Click here for more information from the Welsh Government

 

Club Meets (Indoor Climbing Wall) – England

  • There are no limits to the number of people who can meet indoors, and so club meets are able to resume.
  • However, it is important that all clubs contact the climbing wall prior to any visit to ensure compliance to the rules at that wall.

 

Club Meets (Indoor Climbing Wall) – Wales

  • There are no limits to the number of people who can meet indoors, and so club meets are able to resume.
  • However, it is important that all clubs contact the climbing wall prior to any visit to ensure compliance to the rules at that wall.
  • Face masks are still required to be worn in indoor public places in Wales

 

For the current position in Scotland please go to the Mountaineering Scotland website.

 

Useful links

UK Government: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July [England]
Welsh Government: Coronavirus
 

* Mountaineering activities include rock climbing (trad & sport), bouldering, hill /fell / mountain walking, scrambling.  It does not include mountain biking, caving, kayaking and other such activities that are outside of the direct remit of the BMC.

 

 

Quick reference guide of what clubs currently can and can’t do

 

 I reside in / wish to arrange a meet in…

 England

 Wales

 Can I organise or attend an outdoor club meet?

Meets are permitted in England for unlimited numbers.

Meets are permitted in Wales, for unlimited numbers.

 What about sharing cars?

Car sharing in England is now permitted.

Car sharing, in Wales, is now permitted.

 Can I organise or attend an indoor climbing meet?

There’re no limits to group meeting indoors.

Check with the climbing wall prior to any visit to ensure adherence to any rules they have in place.

There’re no limits to group meeting indoors.

Check with the climbing wall prior to any visit to ensure adherence to any rules they have in place.

 Who can stay in a hut?

Huts are able to reopen.

Huts are able to reopen.

 Can we have a club meet in a pub or café?

Yes, indoor meets in social venues are able to resume.

Yes, indoor meets in social venues are able to resume.  Face masks are required to be worn in public indoor venues.

 



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 13993 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Covid-19 and reopening huts
3
Covid-19 and reopening huts

Mountain huts were first closed at the start of the first lockdown in March 2020. At various points since then huts have been permitted to reopen. The BMC wants to support clubs and other hut operators who are reopening them over the coming months.
Read more »

Research shows chalk could be a climber’s best friend
0
Research shows chalk could be a climber’s best friend

Peer-reviewed research shows that the amount of infectious virus was reduced by around 99% immediately upon contact with the chalky surfaces.
Read more »

Covid19: what has changed from 12th April in England?
0
Covid19: what has changed from 12th April in England?

From 12th April, changes to the Covid regulations in England mean further relaxation of some rules around outdoor activity, travel and overnight stays away from home. Below is a summary of the main changes which affect climbers and hill walkers based on the information available at the time of writing. Government guidance may continue to evolve and we will update this article if needed as more information becomes available.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
9
Anonymous User
22/10/2020
Great article providing the rules that we must abide by to reduce the spread of Covid 19 in our area.
Thanks for sorting this out.
Anonymous User
02/12/2020
Hi guys

The guidance here about groups of 30 does is not the same as the 2/12 update saying only up to 6 - Can you de-conflict please?
Anonymous User
04/12/2020
"From Wednesday 2 December outdoor club meets (in mountaineering activities) will be able to resume for up to 30 people if the club is following the BMC guidance"

The BMC guidance link just takes you back to this page. Where can we find this information?
Anonymous User
04/12/2020
I think the BMC is completely out of touch, Ramblers groups in theory up to 30 are able to organise group walks, subject to strict risk assessment and management rules, they even have a bar code to log members on walks
Can the BMC get into the 21C and look at interests of all at this time . Not just those wanting to go vertical solo
22/12/2020
Comments about regs above, please see legislation.Gov.uk
Rule of six applies to most gatherings.
Organised sport is an exemption allowing you to go over this number, a rugby, hockey or football game for instance.
No one can have a gathering larger than 30.
Hence no organised sport over 30.
Compare our sport to touch rugby, an hour of coming in to close proximity with 20+other people.
The key is these gatherings are happening outside, where transmission has been shown to be low.
Our challenge is making the inside elements of what we do work. Car sharing, accommodation, parking, evening socialising and buying supplies in the area of a meet.
My intention is to increase the number of local day meets and scale back the longer distance trips.
Thankyou to the BMC for being clear with their guidelines.
Anonymous User
05/01/2021
Can you give guidance on solo/2 people hiking in local areas please? This article was updated today but focuses on groups/huts and climbing walls. Thanks a lot/
Anonymous User
26/03/2021
i attended the Webinair about hut openings and listened to Medical Guidance about 72hour gap between occupency. Did I miss something though as am hearing without this hut insurance will not honour a claim asgainst Covid? Suddenly guidance became insurance requirement.

Steve
Anonymous User
10/08/2021
Hi, will the 48hr guidance between hut bookings be removed, now that numerous households are allowed to stay at a hut? Surely the risk of having numerous households at the same time negates having 48hrs between bookings?

RELATED ARTICLES

Covid-19 and reopening huts
3

Mountain huts were first closed at the start of the first lockdown in March 2020. At various points since then huts have been permitted to reopen. The BMC wants to support clubs and other hut operators who are reopening them over the coming months.
Read more »

Research shows chalk could be a climber’s best friend
0

Peer-reviewed research shows that the amount of infectious virus was reduced by around 99% immediately upon contact with the chalky surfaces.
Read more »

Covid19: what has changed from 12th April in England?
0

From 12th April, changes to the Covid regulations in England mean further relaxation of some rules around outdoor activity, travel and overnight stays away from home. Below is a summary of the main changes which affect climbers and hill walkers based on the information available at the time of writing. Government guidance may continue to evolve and we will update this article if needed as more information becomes available.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »