Author Topic: Going caving in Tier3?  (Read 2267 times)

Offline Brains

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Going caving in Tier3?
« on: November 28, 2020, 12:17:40 pm »
Hi Peeps, what are peoples interpretations for visiting the Peak (or other areas...) while under T3.
Assuming it is permissible, trips within the competence levels of the team and venues that are open / dont require calling on the locals for access are obvious requirements. BUT how far can I travel to the Peak and who / how many can I meet up with?
I have heard that groups of upto 6 can go caving together, and distance travelled isnt an issue, but is it really?
Appreciate any guidance will only be valid until the wind changes...

Offline Badlad

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 02:26:09 pm »
CNCC have prepared a short statement giving some advice for caving in the Dales.  It should be published in the next few days.  Generally speaking it notes that the rule of six applies outdoors for both tiers and whilst travel is discouraged between areas it in not prohibited.  Exercise is good for you but do take care is the message.

A personal observation during this pandemic is that a number of members of the government and those in authority have either taken the view that government advice doesn't apply to them or taken a very liberal interpretation of it to suit what they wish to do.  It is not surprising that many of the public have followed their lead and is why we are suffering more from the pandemic than many others.  Contrast is easily observed by looking at such diverse countries as Vietnam and New Zealand which have almost no cases at all.  In the greater scheme of things going caving or not going caving is unlikely to have any effect on the pandemic at all. 

Online bograt

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2020, 03:21:21 pm »
I wonder if this is going to revive the old chestnut debate about whether caving is considered an outdoor sport?
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Offline maxf

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2020, 03:38:56 pm »
When ever i feel i have to test my eye sight !

Offline pwhole

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2020, 06:00:36 pm »
Interestingly the concept of 'travel' itself is barely touched on in the rules, other than you may do it if you have to. But how you do it isn't discussed at all. I don't drive, so either go caving on the bus if I can, train (rarely), or I get a lift with someone who drives if it's in the middle of nowhere. One might imagine that all forms of enclosed vehicles are 'indoors', and yet it doesn't really specify that at all. I also live on my own, so if I go caving I have to meet with someone from another household if I'm not doing a solo trip, which is most of them. So according to the written rules, I can share a car and I can go caving, as it doesn't specifically exclude either, unless I take 'indoors' to literally mean anything that isn't 'open air'. Obviously I can open the car window. And obviously caves and mines have draughts.

In fact the mine I was in on Weds night with a friend (who also lives alone) had such a strong draught we actually discussed whether that was a good or bad thing in terms of transmitting it to each other, or blowing it away, and in which order we should sit in the passage - haha. If we have Covid that is, and are thus both asymptomatic. In which case - should we even give a shit? Even though we'd already shared the car on the way there, and obviously would on the way back. Madness.

It was only when my friend dropped me off at home that we realised we'd both forgotten to put our masks on for the return journey. Wa-wa-waaahh  :confused:

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2020, 07:03:15 pm »
There is quite a lot of bad feeling towards people travelling into the peak district at the moment. It has been very busy during the current "lockdown" I don't imagine that will change with a move to tier 3.

The decision to allow travel for exercise without imposing a limit on distance is a big difference compared to the first one.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2020, 08:17:24 pm »
It may depend on who you are - I popped into the local shop in my 'regular country village' yesterday and was welcomed with open arms - almost literally. I had to buy a chocolate flapjack after that welcome. We had a right old natter and I had to leave, as I was making us late - and someone else wanted to come in. Though it's the first time I've been in three weeks and was just 'passing through'. Hi-viz and wellies helps ;)

Online mikem

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2020, 10:28:41 pm »
There are different rules for allowed open spaces between levels 2 & 3, but funnily enough it doesn't specify caving...

Offline tdobson

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2020, 04:38:36 pm »
I have heard that groups of upto 6 can go caving together, and distance travelled isnt an issue, but is it really?

That's my understanding. And probably if you follow the BCA advice, and write a formal risk assessment, you could have more than 6. Why you'd want more than 6 on a trip is entirely besides the point.

I ran trips prior to Lockdown 2.0 with 6 or less, though now I'm feeling a bit less sure. The headlines about infection rates don't make me personally, super psyched to bring people together too much right now, though that's probably also related to me feeling a bit tired over the past few weeks

I probably will do some, but I'm as eager as anyone not to increase exposure too much around Christmas.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2020, 05:46:40 pm »
I think one issue often overlooked with all this is that often the caving itself isn't really the issue - in the sense that whether folks have Covid or not, they're unlikely to live near the caves, and more likely to live in or near Sheffield, Manchester, Derby, etc. All of which have higher rates of infection but also have more hospital beds available and a faster road network, etc., and so a 'better' place to get ill, compared to a more remote part of the countryside.

So as long as visitors can minimise close contact with villagers and try to avoid shared facilities in the countryside, then the only real risk when caving is to each other, and that's up to them to sort out. At the moment I mainly want to go digging, but we need a minimum of four, ideally six people to do it, all in one small passage with not much air circulation, so it's not really a goer right now, which is really frustrating, given where we are, but it's tough - it's not going anywhere. Though may collapse if left too long!

The real problem is we don't have many consistently large and draughty caves that folks could easily visit without too much risk to each other, if they were a larger group of, say six. The permutations for infection get increasingly scary for every person you add to the group. That's why they added another number to the National Lottery ;)

Offline Pete K

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2020, 06:38:26 pm »
From the Government website relating to T3 areas:

...organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place...

...avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary...

...you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues...

Offline tdobson

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2020, 03:19:01 am »
...you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues...

I was guided in my thoughts on this by your post on FB a fair bit Pete, and I'm glad you joined this chat. Am I getting the sense from this quote, that you feel that caves count as "a private garden"?

I was reading this part:

Quote
"you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’"

Which I feel makes it an allowance for groups of 6 or fewer to meet in caves (or beaches!) and "socialise" (or cave).

I've read through the BCA Guidance, and I don't get the sense they feel it's a high-risk contact activity, but it occurs to me that it's potentially a subjective point that depends on the trip and the participants.
Ie Clients are more likely to need bunk up than that surprisingly sprightly sixty six year old SRT speed demon who's already sodded off halfway through the cave by the time I've put my SRT kit on.

Again, I've not planned any trips with more than 2 people (who are already in the same household), and feel too lazy/busy to do so at the moment - but taking the neither bullish nor risk averse line - bang on the guidelines - I am seeing that some trips could run.

Or am I reading something in the wrong light? I am very happy to change my views and will thank anyone who brings new perspectives here. :)

Offline Pete K

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 08:29:11 am »
So obviously I have taken a pretty robust stance for my work activities as you can see on our FB page. I'm treating caving as an enclosed public / private space, but not only that, it would also be my workplace, so other considerations apply. I have to justify the risk to clients and staff, and of course back that up with a risk assessment and covid policy. I'm struggling to balance the risk vs benefit for caving with clients at this time, and justifying risk/benefit steps is paramount in the world of H&S. Another consideration is that virtually all insurers do not cover any claims due to covid, so I'd have to fight any spurious or legit civil claims out of my own pocket if one occurred. I don't see anything in the guidance to specifically prohibit cave work, but I don't exactly see it as a big neon 'yes' either. I am lucky enough to be able to 'park' the outdoor work for now, so can make that choice without too many financial consequences. Morally, I don't really want to be enticing more folk to the area while we're in Tier 3, which is another, or maybe bigger, factor in my mind.

That's work though and totally separate to leisure. Personally... well it's not for me to tell others how to interpret the guidance. Folk can clearly interpret it in different ways and there is little benefit to arguing about something so grey. Unfortunately when you get 'should nots' instead of 'must nots' in guidance there is room for personal interpretation (eye test anyone?). My view is probably not the right interpretation, but then neither is anyone else's. It is however the right one for me. Someone taking a different approach to me is not wrong, they have simply performed their own personal risk/benefit analysis and arrived at their own, different conclusion.

Online PeteHall

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2020, 09:07:28 am »
I'm struggling to balance the risk vs benefit for caving with clients at this time, and justifying risk/benefit steps is paramount in the world of H&S.

It's your livelihood and you can't do it from home, so I would say that there was a very strong case for you to continue.

From the perspective of your clients, they are receiving training, which can't be done from home and is also permitted.

Obviously it's a personal choice for all involved, but I think as far as the law and guidance goes, you'd be perfectly ok.
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Offline Pete K

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2020, 09:09:35 am »
Ah yes, to be a bit clearer - it's leisure caving trips I have binned for now, training continues. I have 2 instructor assessments this month which are still going ahead.

Online Katie

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2020, 12:53:56 pm »
Personally I plan on still caving.
I live in a tier 3 area very near lots of caves.
I have caved during this second lockdown, but with only other person - treating it as exercise outdoors which is permitted with one person from a different household.
Next week when we are in tier 3 I plan on capping trips at 6 people for the same reason.

However I don't know if this is the right approach, or correct interpretation of the rules.
But it is one I am happy with and those who normally cave with me on a Tuesday night will all need to arrive a personal decision as to whether they want to cave in a tier 3 area.

Offline al

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2020, 01:00:49 pm »
One issue is the requirement that folks in T3 areas don't travel outside their areas, unless it's for one of the exempted reasons. However, is my area my county (the whole of Derbyshire) or my Borough (High Peak) or the part of my borough which was tiered prior to lockdown?
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Online 2xw

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2020, 01:38:13 pm »
I'm going to carry on caving with the people I live with.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2020, 02:33:49 pm »
One issue is the requirement that folks in T3 areas don't travel outside their areas, unless it's for one of the exempted reasons. However, is my area my county (the whole of Derbyshire) or my Borough (High Peak) or the part of my borough which was tiered prior to lockdown?

I think it's deliberately ambiguous as they know there is literally no way of enforcing anything along these lines without a complete change of policy - i.e. heavy and brutal. I talked to my friend in France the other day and she is still only allowed out of the house for one hour a day apart from work, still has to download the permit to leave it, and it does get checked by the police if they bump into each other. She's not black, so they don't beat the crap out of her for no reason, but even so, it's still very, very restrictive, but she's putting up with it, despite the mistrust of authority. I have no idea if this is the same all over the country though, or just certain districts, as we wanted to talk about fun stuff, and this is miserable stuff. Given the literal proximity of us to France, and the social similarities in many ways, we have it really, really easy in comparison, if her description is accurate.

Offline Big Bad Botch

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2020, 03:17:41 pm »
Yes France is a bit of a different subject... For most of the lockdown we could only go 1hr/1km from the house, with the filled in form. Bit of a change from UK lockdown where at least I was still out on my bike, and climbing later on. They have just relaxed it to 3hrs/20km which at least lets me go cycling, but you're not supposed to meet up with others outside your household so no caving for me for the foreseeable....

In a way I'd say to count yourselves lucky that you can make these decisions rather than being made for you. In my opinion going out caving/climbing isn't going to change much: if I was back in the UK I would probably be going out. It's funny how different  countries are handling it - and before you think that France is being more responsible I'd counterpoint that until lockdown 2 the bars were full with no social distancing etc (and you can check the resulting infection rate....)

Offline pwhole

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2020, 03:29:36 pm »
Yeah, my friend tells me (with great gusto) how annoying it is that everyone still keeps kissing each other when they meet - with masks on! The dirtiest part too. Yum. I understand (from the news, can't remember which) there's a 'campaign' being run to try and get French folks to shake hands like us uptight sexless Brits do, in order to slow transmission. We're just as alcoholic as the French though, so I'm sure closing bars will have more impact. At the middle of lockdown my friend told me that 'all the guys' in town were going crazy as they couldn't visit prostitutes any more, and clearly couldn't face sex with their actual partners. So tension was building locally. I told her I thought they all played boules and chess and accordions, but apparently not. Maybe they should.

Incidentally, my friend lived in Sheffield for ten years, so she's able to make considered comparisons ;)

Online Katie

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2020, 03:56:46 pm »
Is France able to police these policies in rural areas or just in urban areas?
Frances has a very similar population to the UK but on about twice the land area. I find it hard to believe they are able to enforce 1 hour/ 1km rules in rural areas as who would police it?
I live in a rural bit of the UK (although closely surrounded by many big urban areas) and we don't see many police ever round here, and find it hard to imagine they could enforce tight restrictions in area such as mine, without using the army for manpower.
Although a local village primary school has had a policeman at drop off and pick ups as the parents have been reported for not socially distancing very well!

Offline Badlad

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2020, 05:22:03 pm »
Like Katie, I'm lucky enough to live very close to a number of caves and interesting digging sites.  This year I've recorded 71 trips underground and that doesn't include a dozen more in Mulu on expedition in January.   Anyone beat that?   ;D ::)

Online mikem

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2020, 07:19:17 pm »
Over 100, with half a kilometre of new passages...

Offline Rob

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Re: Going caving in Tier3?
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2020, 08:51:17 pm »
Over 100, with half a kilometre of new passages...

Wow, i'm only at about 43 trips, but with nearly 800m of new passage, so who wins?   :shrug:  :lol:

(admittedly only half of that natural)
The end is where we start....

 

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