Re-opening plans

ready2climb: a stock image of a man celebrating with fireworks

Update after 9th July announcement

The Government gave the go-ahead for the indoor leisure sector to re-open on Saturday 25th July – and we’ll be open from 9.30am with the first fun climbing and bouldering sessions starting at 10am. On-line bookings will be available from Monday 13th July.

There will be changes and we will be running sessions differently to ensure that staff and customers are kept safe. More on this over the next few days as the guidance solidifies…

Update after HMG decision

On Tuesday 23rd June, the government delivered an expected easing of the lockdown status and a reduction of the Social Distancing Value from 2m to “1m +”

Unfortunately, the government specifically forbade gyms, climbing centres and leisure centres from re-opening and gave no indication whatsoever of how long this interim state would last.

Yesterday’s plan…

Like every other hospitality and leisure industry, ready2climb is dependent on the coronavirus outbreak being sufficiently under control to enable sufficient customers through the door to be viable – being closed is easy, being partially open is MUCH more difficult!

We need to make a number of assumptions at this stage and there are two key assumptions which it is only fair that we explain:

  • Social distancing value (2m, 1.5m, 1m, etc.) as decreed at a national or local level
  • HM Government gives “the go-ahead”

Social Distancing Value

In the UK, we have become accustomed to the 2m separation in public places – and many of us have felt uncomfortable when inconsiderate others have “invaded” our personal space. The Social Distancing Value as determined by HMG at a national level and/or local restrictions has a dramatic impact on how we can re-open.

Our assessment of the risk has drawn the following conclusions based on an identified Social Distancing Value and it’s impact on individual activities:

Social Distance Value of 2m

The default position of 2m is incredibly restrictive. We aren’t sure how we can survive with a vastly reduced capacity

General access

Segregated waiting areas, segregated toilets with 2 minute timers (to allow droplets to drop to the floor), one way system, personal equipment quarantined after use, all activities must be pre-booked (no ‘drop-ins’), customers checked for health prior to entry (i.e. outside the building), no spectators outside of family unit, Side roller door open to maximise fresh airflow

Fun climbing, bouldering, conventional climbing

Dramatically reduced numbers due to a allocation of 9sq m per active person. For the fun climbing, this means a session size of 9 while conventional climbing is limited to 8.

Climbs will be limited to a “single go” with no queuing at popular climbs such as the Steps

Hand gel must be applied before and after each climb

Bouncy Truck, Caving, mini-golf

Not available

Catered Birthday Parties

Not available


Not available

Outdoor climbing

We are already offering some limited outdoor climbing provisions. The use of communal climbing equipment such as helmets limits what we can do. Social climbing for our competent climbers will start on Wednesday 24th June. We will use selected venues where the impact of additional vehicles (no car sharing permitted…) can be reduced

Social Distancing Value of 1m

It is highly likely that HMG will propose a Social Distancing Value of 1m in the coming weeks. It doesn’t mean that the outbreak is over, but it does provide businesses with a fighting chance. Some risk will remain and we will manage our activity provision to reduce the risk as much as reasonably practicable.

General Access

One way system, segregated waiting areas, segregated toilets, personal equipment quarantined after use, all activities must be pre-arranged (no ‘drop-ins’), customers checked for health at reception, no rental equipment available.

Fun Climbing, Supervised Bouldering

Reduced session sizes, no queuing for popular climbs, no communal chalk (bouldering only)

Open climbing, open bouldering

Competent climbers only – NO NOVICES except children of a competent climber. Timed sessions booked online. Bouldering induction courses made available

Outdoor climbing

We plan to offer outdoor taster sessions for novices again over the summer holiday months. These proved to be very popular last year. Car sharing probably still won’t be permitted, so our venue choice will be carefully considered

Social Distancing Value of <0.5m

Social Distancing, as a concept, is probably here to stay for the foreseeable future. As authorities get a grip on the management of the virus, then relatively small increments of social distancing rules will likely become familiar to us – after all, a drop from 1m to zero is a huge step and is unlikely to be seen for at least a year. As a guide, our estimation is that a SDV of less than 0.5m will result in the kids being in school with minimal restrictions

General Access

Full reception, payment on arrival and ‘drop-ins’ permissible. Rental equipment available. Side roller door can be closed in poor weather

Fun Climbing, Supervised Bouldering

Session sizes almost up to full capacity, no queuing for popular climbs

Open climbing, open bouldering

numbers will be controlled, but essentially, these activities will return to normal

Bouncy Truck, caving, minigolf


Catered Birthday Parties


Outdoor activities

By this stage, the likelihood of outdoor climbing will be significantly reduced due to weather and daylight constraints, so lets go caving instead!

We hope to run the Spanish climbing trip in November, but are not planning anything at this early stage

Government go-ahead

In some respects, we don’t actually care what HMG says – the advice is so generic that it’s impossible to accurately state whether we would be included in any guidance or not (the so-called “Dominic effect”). However, our insurers take a different view. If the government state that “leisure” industries can open but there are a bunch of caveats hiding in the detail, then our insurers are likely to refuse to cover us – which means we can’t open.

There are some rumblings that “children’s play areas” will not open at the same time as other leisure industries – but cinemas, trampoline centres and ten pin bowling might???? Outdoor theme parks are already open.

At this stage, we are planning for an early July opening date. We eagerly await HMG guidance as it drives what procedures we need to follow and how we train our staff in those procedures.

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