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How will Tier 3 COVID restrictions affect walls?

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 Andy Farnell 10 Oct 2020

Does anyone know what the possible impacts of tier 3 COVID restrictions will be on indoor walls. Will they be forced shut or still open with the current COVID preventative measures in place?

Andy F

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In reply to Andy Farnell:

Depends what you read Andy. Some media are reporting that tier 3 will include leisure businesses, other media are not.

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 Si dH 10 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

No one knows until Monday. 

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In reply to Si dH:

> No one knows until Monday. 

Nope no one knows but my guess would be that tier 3 includes closing hospitality, leisure and indoor exercise places. My gut feeling is tier 3 will be the last step before returning to lockdown lite. 

Lockdown lite being you can leave your house to go to work or food shopping and that's it. 

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In reply to Dax H:

> Lockdown lite being you can leave your house to go to work or food shopping and that's it. 

If that’s lockdown lite, what’s your version of lockdown heavy?

I suspect you’re right about tier 3. It feels like we need 4 or 5 tiers but I guess keeping it to 3 keeps it simpler. As long as the tiers are the same everywhere, it should be better than the current hotch potch. 

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In reply to Misha:

Lockdown heavy would be going to work in essential services only and one designated person allowed to go food shopping once a week. 

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In reply to Dax H:

Spain tried something like that for a few weeks. Didn't do them any good in the long run... I think what we had back in spring is about as 'heavy' as you'd sensibly want to go, particularly with our heavily services based economy where about 40% of the working population were able to work from home.

Beyond that it's probably the law of diminishing returns. Just guessing, going by the stricter lockdowns in France and Spain having resulted in the same second wave as here. Italy seems to have managed the unlock better but is trending upwards now, so probably just a matter of time till it kicks off properly there.

However the more I think about it, the more it seems likely that we'll end up with a spring style lockdown for a few weeks, once other measures have failed to stem the tide. Possibly in Jan/Feb, to deal with the consequences of Xmas and NY...

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 ianstevens 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

Rumours coming out last night (as per usual for this shit show of a “government”) have gyms down as closing under tier 3. Not confirmed yet of course. Presumably climbing walls would track this. I guess gym owners need to befriend a few Tory ministers? 

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In reply to Andy Farnell:

I'd expect them to come under gyms as they basically are a specialised kind of gym (indeed some people call them that).

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In reply to Misha:

> I suspect you’re right about tier 3. It feels like we need 4 or 5 tiers but I guess keeping it to 3 keeps it simpler. As long as the tiers are the same everywhere, it should be better than the current hotch potch. 

If they are going to have different levels of lockdown in different areas then they also need to minimise travel between areas.  We need to minimise mixing between geographic areas as well as within geographic areas.

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> If they are going to have different levels of lockdown in different areas then they also need to minimise travel between areas.  We need to minimise mixing between geographic areas as well as within geographic areas.

That is proposed for level 3, isn't it, in the same sort of way as for Wales?

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In reply to Neil Williams:

> That is proposed for level 3, isn't it, in the same sort of way as for Wales?

Asking the wrong person.  I don't live in England.

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

And indeed travel outside local authority areas is advised against for tier 3. I think this is sensible. Some people will take it on board, some won’t. There is no reason for someone going climbing or hill walking not travelling outside their local area because it’s a low risk outdoors activity.

We don’t need mandatory travel bans. Even if they are introduced, some people will ignore them anyway abs I can’t see the police spending much time enforcing them (especially if travel within an area is still allowed - it’s just impossible to police). We are outside the main tourist season now so the main travel outside work is going to be for family reasons and that’s rightly banned even for tier 2. 

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In reply to Misha:

> And indeed travel outside local authority areas is advised against for tier 3. I think this is sensible. Some people will take it on board, some won’t. There is no reason for someone going climbing or hill walking not travelling outside their local area because it’s a low risk outdoors activity.

Though people may wish to think about ensuring they don't need to patronise local businesses and facilities when they get there.  In the early days there was a fair bit of "seeding" in rural areas by people going from cities and infecting shop staff etc.

So fill up with petrol at home and take your lunch and drinks with you, and, er, wee behind a bush.

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 neilh 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

Dave at Warrington will impose a ban on  all visitors from Merseyside...............()

Post edited at 09:26
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 kipper12 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

Do walls count as gyms, as these are to close in Liverpool after today.  At AWCC we are being asked not to climb with people we don’t live with.  It might be helpful if more users listened to the polite request from staff there.

I know it is a pain, but much less painful than a bad bout of Covid 19 or stressing the NHS or the damage to the local economy.

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 lumu_tit 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

Changes to Tier 2 mean you can no longer meet anyone outside of your household indoors. Which rules out going for a climb indoors with your mates...?

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In reply to Neil Williams:

I don't know if there is concrete evidence of 'seeding' in this way. After all, there are many ways 'locals' can get infected, for example by going to work or to the supermarket in the local town. The fact that 'local' shop staff got infected doesn't necessarily mean they got infected by 'visitors'. Of course if it's a shop or cafe/pub catering mostly for visitors, that is probably a reasonable assumption. Presumably that was before measures such as face masks and perspex screens were introduced, which go a long way to mitigating the risk in food shops.

I think it's perfectly possible to have a pretty 'Covid safe' visit to a service station or similar, if it's no busy. Cafes and pubs are high risk though due to customers being there for much longer and having more / closer interaction with the staff and indeed other customers. I wouldn't go to a pub in my local area or indeed anywhere else. So I sort of agree but don't think it's quite as black and white.  

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In reply to lumu_tit:

This is a very good point! I've been avoiding roped climbing indoors since the walls reopened as it does feel higher risk, though probably ok if the other person is also unlikely to have Covid - but that kind of logic is what spreads it...

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 lukehunt 13 Oct 2020

Tier 2 guidance: 

“exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport“

My interpretation is that in tier 2 areas, whether we can climb with people our household seems to hang on whether we can avoid mixing with climbing partners down the wall (presumably this will be different between bouldering and lead climbing).

Unfortunately there is no definition of mixing in the guidance - hopefully the BMC / CWA will be seeking to clarify this and produce relevant guidance ASAP...

It would be interesting to hear others’  thoughts on this.
 

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In reply to lukehunt:

Don't go snogging strangers at the wall? It would seem to rule out roped climbing with non-household and advisable to avoid hanging round in groups when bouldering but that's advisable anyway. A stringent interpretation would be that the walls must close but clearly that is not the intention. So it's about being sensible.

Also I think this is aimed at 'organised' sport and exercise classes. Does going to the wall with friends count as 'organised' sport? The guidance on gov.uk says:

In line with guidelines from national sporting bodies, you can take part in sport and physical activity outdoors.

Organised indoor exercise classes are only permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing in with people you do not live with or share a support bubble with.

This would appear to permit going to the wall with friends. However earlier on in the guidance it says:

no one must mix indoors with anyone who they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with). This includes in: pubs and restaurants, shops, leisure and entertainment venues, places of worship.

So that seems to be contradictory. Just goes to show that this has been rushed out without too much attention to detail...

I think sensible to stick with individual bouldering, unless you're lucky enough to have other climbers in your household or support bubble. This is clearly the spirit of the tier 2 restrictions and I don't think it's a big 'sacrifice' for most people (it could be an issue for older climbers who don't boulder due to dodgy knees etc but they are the ones most at risk...).

Post edited at 14:50
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 Andrew Lodge 13 Oct 2020
In reply to lukehunt:

> Tier 2 guidance: 

> “exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport“

> My interpretation is that in tier 2 areas, whether we can climb with people our household seems to hang on whether we can avoid mixing with climbing partners down the wall (presumably this will be different between bouldering and lead climbing).

> Unfortunately there is no definition of mixing in the guidance - hopefully the BMC / CWA will be seeking to clarify this and produce relevant guidance ASAP...

> It would be interesting to hear others’  thoughts on this.

Reading the guidelines would suggest you can't climb with people outside your household at a climbing wall in a tier 2 area.

What I don't understand is why I can still go to an exercise class at the gym with 15 other people, the gym are saying this is still fine.

Have they got it  wrong or am I missing something?

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In reply to Andrew Lodge:

I guess an exercise class is meant to have SD in place. Though 15 people breathing heavily while doing a spin class... no thanks! 

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In reply to Misha:

A climbing wall isn't organised sport unless it was an instructed session.  As the Americans would have it, it's a gym.

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 Arms Cliff 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> A climbing wall isn't organised sport unless it was an instructed session.  As the Americans would have it, it's a gym.

So potentially all walls will just need to make each 1 or 2 hour slot a ‘coaching session’ with a member of staff out on the mats to comply with it being ‘organised’? 
 

It seems in Tier 2 areas it will be important not to arrange to go to the wall with your friends, but for you all to just spontaneously turn up at the usual time for your usual session! 

Post edited at 15:23
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 PaulW 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Arms Cliff:

Lots of people will find ways to bend the rules to fit what they want and then smugly go round telling everyone how clever they are, with no  thought as to what the rules are trying to achieve.

They are of course quite entitled to do that.

Just as I am entitled not to like it.

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 slab_happy 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Arms Cliff:

> So potentially all walls will just need to make each 1 or 2 hour slot a ‘coaching session’ with a member of staff out on the mats to comply with it being ‘organised’? 

No, as I understand it, being "organised" or not has nothing to do with whether gyms (including climbing walls) stay open or closed.

They are open in Tier 2 (but with no "mixing" with anyone outside your household/bubble allowed), closed in Tier 3.

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 Arms Cliff 13 Oct 2020
In reply to PaulW:

FWIW I haven’t been to a wall since the first lockdown. I was just attempting to point out that not arranging to meet people falls short when you’re going somewhere like a wall, where you may know 50% of the people that go there, and you are likely to go at regular times.
 

Likewise with going to your favoured drinking establishment on a Friday night, you can not arrange to meet your friends, but they are likely to be there anyway. 

Do you call around your friends to make sure you don’t end up at the same wall or bar at the same time? 

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 Trangia 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Andy Farnell:

I'd be very surprised if it wouldn't include walls and gyms. 

Indoor space, lots of people panting/breathing heavily, generally poor fresh air circulation and extraction. Sounds like a recipe for spreading Covid.

But as has been said, we will have to wait and see.

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 PaulW 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Arms Cliff:

Very fair points, I was just feeling a bit touchy.

I apologise.

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In reply to Arms Cliff:

I think you’re misreading it. It says organised indoor exercise classes are only permitted if x y z, as opposed to only organised indoor exercise classes are permitted. Although there’s still some inconsistency in the guidance as I noted above. 

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