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: 22 July 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.
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.
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 19 July 2021, in response to the recent moves to Step 4 in England and to Alert Level 1 in Wales - please click here to view it
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.
NEW Welsh Government Guidance on risk assessments for public premises and workspaces to assist hut operators when amending their risk assessments to minimise the risks of exposure to and spread of coronavirus.
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
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
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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