COVID19 Restrictions & Rules
As we move to re-open the centre, things will look and feel a little different. We are eager to operate as close to normal as possible, making your experience as regular as we can, but we have also put a great deal of time and effort in to ensuring we adhere to the social distancing guidelines as laid out by the UK Government. We will be doing everything that we can to keep both you the customer, and our staff as safe as possible.
Whilst the centre may have been closed, our routesetters never stopped working and training. We have reset 68 roped routes and the entire bouldering area. We have tested these routes and are happy that their grade is consistant with the grading in the centre before we closed.
Remember, some of you won't have climbed for months so you might need to lower your expectations of your grade, whilst you get your general fitness and stamina back.
So, what changes can you expect when you next come to the centre? We have put together this Q&A page to help guide you through the process.
WHEN ARE YOU RE-OPENING?
We will be re-opening the centre at 10.00am on Wednesday 2nd December 2020.
WHAT WILL YOUR OPENING HOURS BE?
Initially we will be changing our opening hours whilst we get our bearings. This will also allow additional time for cleaning prior to opening each day.
We will open Monday to Friday 12noon to 10pm, and 10am to 6pm on weekends.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE ON ARRIVAL?
Customers must use the antibacterial gel in the main lobby area before they enter the building.
Masks are required at all times unless actively climbing.
Customer should proceed to queue, following the floor markings and obeying social distancing restrictions. If spaces within the queue are full inside the building then you will need to wait outside, so please ensure that you are appropriately dressed just in case the weather is bad.
When called to the counter present your membership card and give your details so we can book you in.
For contact tracing purposes we will need to verify your contact telephone number.
Reception is fitted with glass protective screens to help ensure our staff's safety.
We would prefer you to then pay with card, but cash is still acceptable.
Once booked in you can proceed in to the climbing area.
DO I HAVE TO PRE-BOOK A SLOT?
No. The centre is open as normal for drop in climbers. As we have a large facility with over 100 lines of climbing and a large bouldering area, we have capped the number of people who can be in the centre at any one time, but feel comfortable without assigning slots at this stage. This is subject to change if this system does not work for any reason.
IS THERE A TIME LIMIT ON MY VISIT?
No, you can stay for the usual duration of your visit.
ARE THE CHANGING ROOMS OPEN?
Yes, though their use will be limited. Where possible we request you arrive at the centre in the clothing you you wish to climb in. Changing facilities are restricted to 2 people maximum, the same restrictions apply to the toilet facilities.
WHAT ARE THE RULES WHEN IN THE CLIMBING CENTRE?
We will be observing the standard 2m social distancing rule.
Check your route before you climb to ensure it does not cross multiple lines and therefore encroach on another users space.
Observe all floor markings in this respect.
There is a maximum of 30 people allowed on the main bouldering area at any one time.
Staff will actively disperse customers if they feel it is too busy or if social distancing is not been observed.
how often should i clean my hands?
Gel dispensers are available throughout reception, and pocket gels are available to buy from reception also. There is also a sanitisation station in the bouldering area.
In an ideal world cleaning your hands between climbs would be great, but the practicality of this makes it difficult, especially if your hands are chalked up.
This said, we obviously recommend frequent cleaning of hands and it goes without saying that you should avoid touching your face in any fashion. Customers must wash their hands after using the toilet facilities, and before entering the cafe area.
If in doubt, play it safe, wash your hands or use the free gels provided.
CAN I CLIMB WITH PEOPLE NOT IN MY HOUSEHOLD?
New government guidance states that as Birmingham is in Tier 3 that you may not mix with people not in your own household or support bubble. You should always follow the governments current social distancing guidelines.
CAN I BRING MY KIDS?
Yes, however due to capacity restrictions only one parent may accompany up to 2 children and supervise them during their visit.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I LEAVE THE CENTRE?
First and most importantly wash your hands, use the gels provided too.
You also now need to tell us you are leaving so that we can update our capacity management software.
ARE NEW MEMEBRS WELCOME?
Yes, however ALL NEW MEMBERS MUST complete a registration before they come to the centre. We will not accept any new memberships at the counter, and our iPads will be unavailable for use. You can access the online membership form by clicking here
WHAT ARE THE RULES ON CHALK USE?
Chalk balls are still permitted, Loose chalk is prohibited. Liquid chalk is recommended.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PROTECT US?
In addition to our usual rigorous cleaning, staff will follow a strict new rota of cleaning common public areas including seating, changing areas, toilet facilties and the main reception area. Our staff all have access to full PPE.
All internal doors will remain open reducing the need to touch handles.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT VENTILATION?
Where possible (weather permitting) external doors will remain open to allow air flow through the building. We also have large fans at the top of the walls which will pull in fresh air, and expel old air.
ARE YOU PROVIDING ANY INSTRUCTIONAL LESSONS WHEN YOU RE-OPEN?
Crag Rats Levels 3, 4 and 5 will resume from Saturday 15th August 2020, with a limited participation level of two people per instructor.
To ensure that our staff and customers are protected during instructional sessions, everyone involved will be required to wear a face covering whilst on the ground, however it may be removed when climbing the wall.
We will work to bring back Levels 1 and 2 as soon as it is safe to do so.
I AM A PROVIDER, CAN I BRING MY GROUP?
Yes, however you must follow social distancing guidelines, and the risk assessment of the organisation you are working for.
IS THE CAFE OPEN?
The cafe will only be open for takeaway food while in Tier 3. The seating area will also be closed.
We can not refill your water bottles in the cafe any more, so please ensure that you bring water with you if needed.
ARE YOU HIRING OUT EQUIPMENT?
Where possible you need to bring your own equipment with you.
We we still be hiring out equipment, including shoes, harnesses and belay devices. Unfortunately harnesses must be quarantined for 72 hours upon return so supply of these may be limited.
Shoes and belay devices will be cleaned thoroughly before returning to service.
I AM ON DIRECT DEBIT, WHEN DOES IT RESTART?
All Direct Debit customers were halted on 5th of November 2020 and no payments were taken since then. As soon as we open Direct Debits will re-start and be taken from you account on their usual day, either the 8th or 28th of the month. Customers with passes that still had time to run, will have them extended for the unused period.
IF I AM A D/D CUSTOMER OR HAVE A PASS DO I STILL HAVE TO QUEUE?
Yes. So that we can monitor capacity levels everyone needs to queue for the reception. Though pass holders will progress through the reception quicker as there is less to process. Having a pass does not guarantee you entry on any specific day if we are at capacity.
These are new and strange times for all of us, we are going to need customers to exercise common sense and follow the government social distancing guidelines to make it feasible for us to operate in this current climate. Staff are on hand to answer your questions, and to maintain social distancing if it is breached.
If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to send us an email by using the contact us tab at the top of the screen.
CAN I BUY AN ENTRY PASS ONLINE TO SAVE TIME?
Yes, we have now introduced an online facility to purchase individual sessions, hire equipment or even month passes online. You simply need to enter your membership number during the checkout process and your pass will automatically be added to your membership profile for your next visit.