Covid-19 and reopening huts

Posted by Jane Thompson on 12/05/2021
Tranearth hut, Coniston. Lancashire Climbing and Caving Club

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.

Article first posted: 25 July 2020.  Last update: 12 May 2021

This page contains BMC guidance on good practice for hut operators and hut users in order to minimise the risks of reopening huts.  It also contains links to other support.  As government advice is updated the relevant information will be posted here.

 

BMC Guidance

Working with the BMC Huts Group and the BMC Clubs’ Committee plus other specialists the following guidance has been produced for hut operators and hut users.

Preparation for the reopening of Club Huts during COVID-19

 

For those wishing to use a printer-friendly version please click here

The appendices can be downloaded in Word format should you wish to use the text for your own checklists.

 

NEW Update to the above guidance published on 12 May 2021 in relation to the 72hr quarantine period between hut visits - please click here to view it

 

To find out whether huts are able to open check out this article with the latest position for club meets and huts access across England and Wales.

 

Supporting Guidance

Howden Group Guidance – What to consider when re-opening after extended closure // Legionnaires Disease

DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate) – Advice letter, 1st May 2020

UIAA (International Climbing & Mountaineering Federation) - Guidance on legionella and mountain huts

HSE (Health & Safety Executive) - Guidance on legionella

 

Government website links

UK Government for regulations and guidance in England

Welsh Government

 

Other sources of support

The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) – Guidance for reopening campsites, Guidance for reopening hostels & bunkhouses

Mountaineering Scotland - www.mountaineering.scot/coronavirus

The Professional Association of Self Caterers (PASC) - www.pascuk.co.uk/standards - Information including risks of legionella, risk assessment, cleaning.  NB The guidance contained on this page is written for those opening self-catering properties as a business and not everything will be relevant to mountain huts.

British Caving Association - Advice on Inspection of Huts prior to re-opening

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions - Clubs, Huts & COVID-19 page on the BMC website

 

Insurance

Howden, the insurance brokers to the BMC, has provided this statement regarding the cover provided by the combined liability policy:

“The combined liability policy arranged by the BMC for the protection of clubs and club committee members does not include an exclusion related to COVID-19. This means that if someone was to bring a claim against a club, or club committee member, alleging they had contracted coronavirus at a club event or club hut, the policy would respond to defend the club/committee member and, if legally required, pay compensation to the limit of indemnity. It is expected that all clubs will take reasonable steps to manage the risk of COVID-19 within club huts and at their events by following BMC and government guidance. We strongly recommend that risk assessments are carried out and documented by clubs in order to evidence the steps that have been taken, for the protection of the club in the event that a claim is made.”

Howden, the insurance brokers to the BMC, has provided this statement regarding the requirement to undertake checks and inspections on your property:

“As the situation is ongoing, insurers understand that some clubs will not be able to complete inspections due to lockdown restrictions and clubs will not be penalised as a result.”


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Anonymous User
26/03/2021
Given that you reference to Gov't guidance regarding re-opening, could you please explain why you are recommending a 72 hr closure between visits to huts when e.g. COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home Updated 16 October 2020 specifies 48hrs?
Particularly interested given that leading epidemiologists (See e.g. Lancet article September 29, 2020) are now routinely stating that onward transmission via Fomites is highly unlikely and there is no clinical evidence of it happening, in fact the contrary is true if studies currently in peer review are proven valid.
08/04/2021
Looking at the BMC guidance on this, the 72 hour advice does now appear incongruous with the prevailing opinion in the national and international press, including various medical journals. for example (no idea if this'll work) see article in wired, address at the end of this. Bearing in mind the public health england, and SAGE advice appears to be 48 hours, why is the BMC suggesting a longer closure between visits?
https://www.wired.com/story/its-time-to-talk-about-covid-19-and-surfaces-again/?mbid=social_facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_brand=wired&utm_medium=social&utm_social-type=owned&fbclid=IwAR0wKyuvq_czgIKnxjZKDu2mmz6DFf8CsHv9z070Y0kiYXvgFmIsYF8dYCA

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