Changes to Covid measures at KendalWall

COVID MEASURES FROM 19TH JULY

To our fantastic climbing community: We’ve come a long way together in the last 16 months and we are optimistic that this third wave feels like the final hurdle. Firstly, a huge ‘thank you’ for your support during this pandemic. To all the members who loaned us or donated their dues through the lockdowns: You will forever be remembered and we will continue to cook up rewards. Each time we have reopened, we have been blown away by the appetite to get back to climbing and the continued growth of new climbers visiting our Centre. We feel we have struck a good balance and built a solid reputation for Covid safety and looking after our team. Due to rising cases coming at the same time as the Government lifting restrictions, the three months ahead could be the most challenging for us yet. Rather than partaking in “Freedom Day”, we will be easing our Covid measures in phases. The primary goal of the phases is to give our younger members of staff the opportunity to receive both doses of their vaccination. The secondary goals of our easing of polices is to:

  • Protect our customers from increased risk of transmission in our centres;
  • Maintain our reputation for safety;
  • Reduce pressure on the team to enforce mask wearing and social distancing by putting the responsibility on the climbing community; and
  • Bring our junior mask policy more in line with Government guidance and general practice to make our junior programme more appealing as we move into the summer holidays.

Detail of what and when we will ease

Capacities:

Controlling our capacities allows you to maintain social distancing while climbing and reduces the risk of transmission. Ventilation also plays a key part and we continue to maximise this at all of our centres. We are a long way off our pre-Covid capacities and with the following small increases you will still be able to comfortably manage your spacing. The team will no longer be policing this but we will keep our signs up around the centres as a reminder. Here is our plan for the next two months. We will monitor and adjust if needed.

Site Capacity from 18th June 2021 Capacity from 19th July 2021 Capacity from 1st August 2021 Capacity from 1st October 2021
KendalWall 80 95 110 125

Mask Policy:

Masks will be the hot topic of the next few months and losing the Government mandate makes it harder for our team to enforce wearing them. But with rising cases and many of our team and climbing community not having had their first and/or second jab, it would be irresponsible to get rid of them in July. Apart from some tweaks on masks on instructed sessions, our mask policy from 19th July will be mandatory at reception and strongly recommended in the rest of the centre. Full breakdown:

Who Mask policy from 12th April 2021 Mask policy from 19th July 2021 Mask policy from 1st September 2021
Staff Team Masks 100% of the time away from counter.  Can choose to ‘mask-off’ in office and behind Reception screens with cohort colleagues.

Setters – masks off in climbing areas.

Masks 100% of the time away from counter.  Can choose to ‘mask-off’ in office and behind Reception screens.

Setters – masks off in setting areas

Review policy
Independent climbers Masks on when NOT climbing or using gym equipment or seated in café areas.  Enforced by floor walkers. Masks on in proximity to Reception and in corridors etc to protect staff. Recommended in climbing areas Masks on when NOT climbing or using gym equipment or seated in café areas.  Only enforced by staff in Reception area. Review policy

 

Instructed climbers aged 12 and up. Masks on with exemptions allowed whilst climbing. Masks on with exemptions allowed whilst climbing. Review policy
Aged 11 & under Masks on with exemptions allowed whilst climbing Masks optional – encouraged but not enforced. Not enforced at reception as under 11’s are ‘exempt’, but under 11’s should be moved through reception area as quickly as possible. Review policy

Booking:

Booking has been useful to guarantee your climbing slot, especially in the Loft, through the last few months. As we move through the Summer, with our increased capacity,  booking is only likely to be necessary during wet weather. Our intention is to keep the booking system and review the situation in the Autumn.

Instructed sessions:

Almost all of our instruction is back up and running! Yay! We have carefully managed, smaller than usual group sizes and the option of private/ exclusive sessions for those who prefer to be in a household bubble. Perfect for family and friends groups during the Summer holidays! We will review our instruction in the Autumn.

A few miscellaneous updates:

  • Our full-time team members are increasing lateral flow testing to three times per week and part-time staff twice per week. This is to help identify potential transmission within the team early
  • We will maintain our regular cleaning
  • Hand gel will be readily available around the centres
  • We will be keeping our Perspex screens at reception
  • Social distancing will no longer be enforced by the team but signage remains in place.
  • You will still need to check out at the end of each session so we have accurate tracking records for Public Health England if needed.
  • The café is fully open.

Our recommendations while climbing at our centres to reduce transmission of the virus:

  • Please adhere to our mask policy in July and we strongly recommend you continue to wear a mask in the centre into August too
  • Maintain 1m+ plus distance from other climbers as much as possible
  • Keep conversations with our staff team brief as they serve hundreds of climbers each shift
  • When socialising with other climbers, keep your distance and wear a mask
  • Sanitise your hands on arrival and regularly throughout your session
  • Get vaccinated as soon as you are able, if you are able

Final thoughts 

We truly hope this is the final hurdle but we will monitor and adapt as needed to keep giving you as much access as possible to this fantastic sport. We will get our website up to date with these changes in the coming days.

Trying to give you unhindered but safe access to our centres in the coming months will be a tricky balancing act. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation with our evolving policies. We keep them all under regular review.

Thanks for reading and, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through [email protected]

The KendalWall team.