Update: Friday 8th May
There is a chance that the leisure industry will be able to open again soon – our ‘gut feel’ is towards the end of June. We may be permitted to climb outdoors before we are permitted to climb indoors and if that’s the case, we will organise outdoor climbing within the scope of permitted customer interaction.
However, when we do eventually re-open, business will not be ‘normal’ for a considerable period and there will be changes in how we run our climbing sessions in accordance with advice and guidance from the industry trade associations and National Governing Body.
The risks of resurgence of the outbreak are different for each of our main activities (fun climbing, catered birthday parties, conventional climbing and bouldering), so each of those activities will have specifics. Our overall aim is:
Update: Tuesday 17th March
Stay open, or shut the doors?
We are in the middle of a dramatic change to our lives and the situation changes daily. Like many businesses, we are somewhat confused by the advice given by the Government yesterday. Why tell people to stay away but not shut the schools or workplaces?
Most of our customers are children and they are still mixing at school (we acknowledge that this situation could change very quickly), so why should we shut?
We know that several climbing walls across the country have decided to shut their doors while others have remained open. Our current plan is to stay open and be sensible about how we run the business.
There will be some changes:
- Catered birthday parties – parties present a particular risk due to the extended length of time that the children are sat in close proximity. We will not be taking any more birthday party bookings for the immediate future and we will be discussing the options with our existing bookings
- Group sizes – From next week (assuming we are still open…), we will be reducing the size of each of our fun climbing sessions from 20 to 12. This reduction provides us with a number of operating advantages, including reducing the number of people in the building at changeover time and means that we can spread staff around
- Enhanced bio-security measures will be put in place. This will include hand-washing on the way in to the building and parents fitting harnesses to their own children
Last week’s thoughts
Obviously, the world-wide outbreak of Corona virus and the resultant Covid-19 respiratory disease is having a dramatic impact on everyone’s life whether it be changing our shopping habits, how we integrate with other members of the public or how we protect members of our family and local community who are at risk.
ready2climb is no different – our staff have needs, our business has needs and a good proportion of our customers would be classified as being “at risk” of serious illness. As an employer, we have a legal duty to keep our staff safe and that has to be our first priority.
How you behave as a customer will have a dramatic impact on ready2climb.
We need you to think…
We need all customers to think very carefully about their own situation and about how they could impact other people with their decisions – this is not the time to be selfish, this is the time to have “good civic values.”
Have you or any of your immediate family traveled anywhere that might have put you at risk any time in the last 14 – 21 days? This could include bus, train, tram, underground or coach travel and especially aeroplane travel? Any transport method where you have sat in close proximity to others places you at risk of ‘catching’ the airborne droplets cast into the air by a careless person.
Have you or any of your immediate family been in close contact with people other than your family for a protracted period of time? This might include queuing indoors at an activity, going to the cinema, watching rugby or football at a large game or even going on a university open day. Schools are a particular location of concern as they are acknowledged breeding grounds for all sorts of pathogens.
Do you or any of your immediate family have any signs of any illness – sniffles, colds, “flu bugs” are all important as they reduce your immunity to novel pathogens such as corona virus
If the answer to either of the questions above are “Yes” then you may already have the virus. It may not affect you, it may not make you ill – but there’s an increasing chance that you have it. World-wide, it is estimated that only 1 in 100 cases are documented so that probably means that today, a hundred people in Somerset have the virus (1 documented case as of Friday 13th March 2020).
How can we help?
First and foremost, you can instill some personal hygiene values in your youngsters. This is particularly aimed at boys who are awful when it comes to washing their hands after going to the toilet. Bearing in mind that I need to visit the loo reasonably often (I’m at that age…) and I use at least 3 hand towels on every visit, the girls’ use of handtowels outstrips boys’ use by 5 to 1 – it’s disgusting. There is no other word for it. This is the time to drill it in hard.
We don’t know for sure, but there is some evidence that coronavirus can remain viable for up to 72 hours on hard surfaces – door handles, fences, cutlery, crockery, TV remotes, money, card machines. In itself, this isn’t alarming as we live in a rural community and E-coli and a few other nasties beat this weakling hands down!
What is more disturbing is that there is little evidence to suggest that surface sanitisation (wiping, spraying, etc) actually works (with the exception of neat alcohol…) so regular handwashing is really, really, really important.
I don’t mean red wine, but hey, alcohol kills it!
Behave like you have it already…
If you knew that you already have the virus, would you deliberately continue spreading it around? Of course you wouldn’t. You would take precautions to ensure that you kept those around you safe. That’s what we need you to do – assume that you have the virus and act accordingly.
Do you need to re-schedule?
Communication is key – don’t leave it to the last minute and then expect us to be able to accommodate your needs. If you need to cancel because a member of your family is declared ill with Covid-19, we will, of course try to accommodate you – we recognise that your need is far greater than ours.
If you have a sniffle or a cold, then the best thing to do is re-schedule your booking. You can transfer your tickets forward by a couple of weeks, but it is important to realise that there is a time limit to this. We need the opportunity to try and re-sell the tickets, so you need to make the decision at least day in advance
How will we cope at ready2climb?
We are used to a range of pathogens trying to get in the door at ready2climb and our processes and procedures are well documented and our staff follow them. We’re proud that none of our staff have ever suffered more than a few sniffles despite being regularly sneezed on by your little darlings! That’s how we want to keep it. Over the coming weeks, you will start to see additional precautions put in place as we ramp up our bio-security measures to match the threat.
“Social Distancing” is rapidly becoming the expression of the month! We have a number of options to help us. Our intention is that no-one will notice any real difference in their climbing experience.