Last updated on 14th September 2020.
Now that Beacon Climbing Centre has re-opened, it’s time to let you know the measures and precautions we are taking to protect our staff and customers.
We are following Welsh Government legislation and advice from our trade body, the ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH CLIMBING WALLS. These measures may change as new advice and recommendations emerge.
We can confirm that we have followed the Government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 with the following steps:
- We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and shared the results with people that work for us.
We have cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures in line with the guidance.
We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace.
Where people cannot be 2m apart we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk.
All customers need to read and accept this.
It should be recognised that while climbing walls will take all reasonable steps to prevent the transfer of COVID-19 to its staff and customers, there will always be a risk that an infected person visits the centre and either through droplet transfer, aerosol action or smear infection, transfers the virus to others. Our customers should be made aware of this and make their own decision given their specific circumstances whether this small residual risk is one they are willing to take. The residual risk should be no greater than in many other public spaces and facilities that are already open or will re-open in the coming months.
Please do not visit the climbing centre if you have any signs of COVID-19 or have been in contact with anyone with signs in the past 14 days.
Wearing face coverings is now a legal requirement in shops and other indoor public places from 14th September. Masks must now be worn inside Beacon Climbing Centre on arrival, when belaying, and when moving around the centre, including in the corridors, toilets, stairs and cafe. Exceptions to the mask wearing law are when eating and drinking in the cafe, and when actually climbing. Under 11s are exempt from the new law.
All customers are required to sanitise their hands when entering the building. You may use your own, or the sanitiser provided. In addition to the washrooms, two handwash stations are in the climbing wall, and we recommend climbers wash their hands at the start and end of their session and sanitise regularly throughout their climbing session. Sanitiser stations will be located at key points throughout the centre. Liquid chalk (which contains alcohol) will also be for sale.
In order to speed up queuing times and minimise contact we are strongly recommending that members pre-pay with monthly memberships or 10-entry passes. Additionally, limits on contactless payments have been raised to £45 making payment easy for one-off sessions and other purchases. Payment with cash is strongly discouraged.
At Beacon Climbing Centre we don’t anticipate using bookable time slots (except for exclusive sessions for those who are shielding, or for the Kids’ Play area) as we have conservatively calculated a capacity of 92 at any one time in the climbing areas based on the government’s 1 person per 9sqm. Other parts of the building have additional capacity, eg corridors, stairs, toilets and the café seating areas, so it should at no time feel overly busy. The reconfigured café seating upstairs currently provides plenty of space, so you may wish to go up to the café after climbing, or even instead of it!
If we find we are reaching our capacity limits we will review and start to use pre-booked time slots at our busy periods. To help ensure people don’t miss out on climbing, we would like all customers to be aware their climbing time may be limited to two hours. Please be mindful of the time.
You can check our current capacity before you arrive by visiting our website and checking the current climber count at the top of each page.
Are you Shielding?
We will have pre-bookable sessions available on Wednesdays from 7.30am-9.30am with limited numbers to allow those who are shielding or vulnerable themselves to use the centre. These can be booked on the website HERE.
Inevitably there are going to be queues at busy times! There may be times when you are (socially distant) waiting outside the doors in all sorts of weather. Please come prepared for this with warm clothes and waterproofs, this is Wales! Our staff will do the utmost to get you in as soon as possible, please be patient. Otherwise, please come ready to climb, and leave surplus gear, clothes and other possessions in your car. Pre-register online if you are new to Beacon, and be ready to pay by card. Hire gear is available.
Check In/Check Out.
To keep a record of all people that have passed through our building you MUST check-in AND check out. The number of climbers in our building at any one time will also be displayed live on our website for others to see.
Experienced climbers only.
For the time being only fully competent roped climbing and bouldering members will be allowed to climb. Some of these will be under 18 years old. If you are new to the centre you can register but you must already be a competent adult climber. We cannot accept novices at this point but as soon as we can, we will update you. Climbers must not bring spectators with them to watch from any climbing areas, nor bring picnics to eat at our tables. Non-climbing visitors may visit the café for refreshments while they wait.
Children’s Play Area.
The Kids’ Play area has climbing and seating capacity for 8 children and adults (combined total). Booking is no longer required to use this area. Refreshments from the café may be taken into the area.
Social Distancing Within the Centre.
The Welsh Government still recommends 2m for social distancing in all public areas. Please continue to observe others’ boundaries.
Social Distancing When Climbing.
Whether leading/bouldering/top roping or using the auto belays, it is up to the individual climber to assess where they climb and if it will be sociably acceptable to climb a route/problem not far from another person. You should leave an acceptable space between each climber but often routes/problems weave or deviate so a bit of forethought and verbal communication is vital. All areas will have signage stating the capacity numbers for specific climbing areas (e.g. upstairs bouldering will have a capacity of 9). It’s a big centre – if you can see an area is at capacity please try another area and if you’re having problems getting a turn in particular areas, please let a member of our team know.
Having spent many years trying to block draughts in our centre we are now encouraging them! You will find many fire doors held open with industry standard door holders, and windows will be opened strategically to encourage a flow of fresh air throughout the centre. This may make the centre feel a little cooler, so you may want to wear something warm.
While we haven’t put a strict limit on the time you can spend in the climbing centre, please be respectful of how long you spend in certain areas. We would like you to limit your visit in busy periods to two hours. Please do not overstay – let everyone play! At quieter times you may want to stay a bit longer, or use the café.
Due to limiting climber numbers in the climbing areas we are asking for non-climbers to stay in the café, or not come to the centre. We have expanded the cafe into the studio to provide more socially distanced seating, which has a brilliant view of the mountains in good weather, and free wifi. If there is a special reason for a non-climber to remain in the climbing area then an allowance may be given if capacity numbers allow, and at our staffs’ discretion.
We have tried to remove the need for you to touch many surfaces, apart from the climbing walls, on your passage through the building. Many doors are now held open safely to enable touch free passage through corridors, which also aids better ventilation. Key touchable surfaces will be wiped down frequently with appropriate cleaning products.
We are removing all non essential items such as leaflets, menus etc. Please do not ask us to display any literature for you, and do not leave anything with us.
Even with our regular cleaning we strongly recommend that you wash or sanitise your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
Absolutely all visitors must check-in and out of the centre to help us with our track and trace procedure, therefore even if you haven’t climbed, please check in at reception, and out again when you leave. A modest takeaway style menu of salads, sandwiches, soups, cakes and hot and cold drinks will be available to buy and eat at our tables. Please see our website for further details. The café will be open with a new menu. All food and drink will be prepacked in compostable and recyclable packaging. Please do not consume your own food and drink in the café, and no picnics may be eaten in the climbing areas.
We will not be able to fill your water bottles. Please think ahead and fill yours at home. We will sell bottled and canned drinks both from reception and in the cafe, and hot drinks in the café.
Chalk balls and liquid chalk are both acceptable and available to purchase at reception.
All the usual hire equipment will be available, except for chalk bags. We have some small items to sell.
We will not be allowing novice / youth groups for the time being. Climbing instructors and guides running small scale progression courses for experienced climbers will be admitted at full adult rate.
Cafe Loyalty Cards.
As we are trying to limit contact with customers we are going to suspend our loyalty card system until further notice.
Take it easy.
Many of you will not have climbed for months, and even those of you who have been outside will not be used to the typically more physical nature of indoors. We know how keen you’ll be, but take it easy and don’t overdo it on your first few sessions back. Warm-up properly (in the car park if it’s sunny) and climb within your ability to avoid injury.
It has been a very tough time for all business who have been unable to trade through this pandemic. Everyone is trying their utmost to do what’s right and follow procedures. As government guidelines (and laws) change so must our own procedures. If you spot something that you think we may have missed please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
We look forward to seeing you on the wall soon.
The Beacon Team