Author Topic: Update 20 June 2020 - COVID-19 – STAY SAFE  (Read 476 times)

Offline Pegasus

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Update 20 June 2020 - COVID-19 – STAY SAFE
« on: June 22, 2020, 05:51:09 pm »

Update 20 June 2020 - COVID-19 – STAY SAFE

The current situation with regard to access to caves and mines has not substantially changed over the past few weeks. On the negative side, club huts are still closed to being used as hostels across England, Scotland and Wales. That is taken to also include changing facilities, toilets and cooking.

But given the ability to drive any distance within England, some clubs may have set up systems where by club tackle is made available for loan and return subject to some form or quarantine. For advice on cleaning tackle consult the web page at though a summary is clean tackle as normal and then quarantine for 3 days.

The position in Scotland still remains as a recommendation to limit travel to 5 miles as is also the case in Wales. Cavers are advised to not consider crossing a border from England into Wales or Scotland.

A question has arisen as to whether caving has been banned. The various statutory instruments which make up the law across England, Scotland and Wales do not mention the word caving, so it has not been specifically banned. Indeed a letter has been sent by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in response to an enquiry about caving, stating that all outdoor sports and physical activities are now permitted, presumably in England. Both Scotland and Wales have also permitted outdoor exercise, albeit within the recommended travel limit.

What has been banned to greater or lesser extent is the number of persons who one can associate with at a given time. As that is complex and varies between England, Scotland and Wales, BCA will not attempt to summarise the situation.

BCA's position remains that the effectiveness of social distancing within a cave or mine in respect of airborne or surface transmission between persons is an open question. There is therefore concern that the 2m rule may be insufficient to provide protection.

BCA also consider that it is likely that cavers, along with other visitors, will not be welcome in some rural communities. In addition, it is anticipated that permission may not be granted to descend those caves and mines where it is required; especially if that requires face to face contact.

The British Cave Rescue Council has issued information on rescue which can be read at . It is clear that the ‘service’ provided by cave rescue organisations may be reduced and could take longer to arrive at the scene of an incident.

BCA therefore urges cavers to be responsible and if you do decide to go caving, then minimise the risk of accidents underground by choosing less demanding caves and mines.

In respect of the nations and regions, Derbyshire region has provided updates on access which can be found at . Other advice has indicated that the current closure list is: Ashford Black Marble Mine, Bagshawe Cavern, Devonshire Mine, Holmebank Chert Mine, All sites on Peakshill Farm (Giant's / Snelslow), and Peak/Speedwell system, including JH & Titan. It also recommends that the best thing to do is check the DCA cave registry and social media before you go on a trip to see if there is a covid-19 closure in place.

In the Devon and Cornwall region, the Council has made the statement “DCUC does not endorse any caving in the county during the current lockdown, we would ask all local clubs to follow the Government advice”.

In the Dales, CNCC has issued advice which can be read at . Other advice indicates that most caves across the Dales are open, including the booking system for Ingleborough, Leck and Casterton. A few landowners, like High Birkwith farm and Alum Pot do not want visitors caving there at the moment. It is recommended that the Cave Info web page at on the CNCC web site be checked for the specific cave before one starts one's journey.

On Mendip, CSCC have copied a message from Mendip Cave Rescue. It is known that St Cuthberts and the caves at Fairy Cave Quarry are closed. More detail may be found at the CSCC web page on access at on the CSCC web site.

We understand that in the Forest of Dean under the direction of Her Majesty's Deputy Gaveller, access permit for the mines & caves within the 100 of St Briavels, has been suspended because of the coronavirus. The matter is under review.

The travel restriction in Scotland and Wales make it difficult for almost all cavers to get to any caves. Cambrian have provided a useful summary of the access situation on their coronavirus web page at .

QMC has provided advice to award holders, see the Training web page on BCA’s web site at .

The position in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is covered by the Speleological Union of Ireland’s web page on their web site at .

R Myers

BCA Acting Secretary

20 June 2020

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Re: Update 20 June 2020 - COVID-19 – STAY SAFE
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2020, 05:49:34 pm »
Latest BCA Update following the Government's latest easing of lockdown restrictions.
Coronavirus update 24 June 2020
The government has issued guidance to hostel operators in England on re-opening on 4 July. This can be found at

Clubs with huts may wish to start considering how to re-open their hut in the light of this advice. BCA has prepared a document covering Advice on Inspection of Huts prior to re-opening, see

Not exactly throwing Club Huts/Hostels' doors wide open but worth considering from the "Social Bubble" perspective.

R Myers

BCA Acting Secretary

25th June 2020


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