Rucksack Club Meets and Huts Update: 8th August 2021
With the easing of restrictions across England, Wales and Scotland continue, the Club is trying to get the Meets Programme and Hut use back to as near normal as possible.
The full Meets programme has recommenced and all details can be found on the website Meets Calendar [both weekday, particularly Wednesday walks and climbing, and weekend]. The July Meetstaff also included much information on these. If you are prepared to coordinate an additional Meet, please contact our Outdoor Meets Organiser [Andy Llewellyn] and help increase the number of members and guests ‘Getting out there”!
The Meets information on the website is continually updated, so please keep checking for both updates and new/additional Meets.
Finally, the Annual Dinner is booked for 13/14 November 2021 at the Cumbria Grand, with Mick Fowler as our guest speaker. Don’t forget to post me your Booking Form [which can then be printed off] and cheque too please!
The Committee is keen to see the use of huts increase, whilst recognising the need to ensure their use is in accordance with the law, and that safety is correctly addressed. With this in mind, the following was emailed to all members on Tuesday 3rd August 2021:
From 19th July restrictions in law on the number of people mixing indoors were removed in England, but the Government recommended social distancing measure should continue and people should remain cautious. Currently restrictions in Wales and Scotland continue, but these are due to be reviewed shortly
At the Committee Meeting last Monday evening [26th July], and by email since, the Committee has spent considerable time debating the best way forward with regard to the use of the Club huts. The Committee has to ensure the following:
- access to Club premises is in accordance with what the law permits
- reasonable and appropriate measures to manage the risk are in place; this now includes specific risk assessment for Covid as the Insurers state “The risk of COVID infection has … become another risk that should be managed along with risks of slips and trips, for example, or Legionella in standing water.”
- these measures are adhered to by members and guests
- these are in the Club’s and the members’ best interests
The Committee is responsible for ensuring risk assessments are in place and measures to manage the risk. Further, it is the responsibility of all club members to adhere to these measures.
The Committee has concluded that even where the law allows access to premises, it is neither reasonable nor appropriate at this time for access to be unrestricted. Further, restrictions must remain in place until the insurers accept that the risk of infection by Covid is little different from infection by other endemic viruses (e.g. seasonal ‘flu); this could be some considerable time.
In addition, it is important to note that local government guidance should be followed.
Booking and Visiting Huts
The Committee recognises that multiple household groups using shared kitchen/washroom/living facilities and sharing bunk rooms for several hours overnight, as found in our huts, represents a significantly higher risk of infection. With this in mind the following has been agreed:
- Members must have a confirmed booking before visiting a Club hut, so you must contact the relevant hut warden first. When making a booking, the warden will need to establish that the number of people in each group can be accommodated because bunk room capacity varies from hut to hut
- The number of people allowed to visit the huts at any one time will be determined by the warden to ensure the common/ shared facilities in the huts do not become overcrowded
- For Club meets, all bookings will be made by the Meet co-ordinator in conjunction with the warden and they will agree the framework of measures to be put in place for the duration of the meet. When an official meet is taking place at a hut, there will be no access for non-meet attendees
- General Provisions on Use of Indoor Facilities
- for the safety of all its members, the Club expects those who are eligible to be fully vaccinated. The Committee recognises that some younger members may not be fully vaccinated until mid-September and a few may have medical reasons for withholding vaccination
- anyone who has symptoms, has received a positive test result or has been contacted and told to self-isolate must not travel to a hut
- anyone considering visiting a hut is encouraged to take a lateral flow test before they travel
- as each Hut is in a different nation, regulations may vary so each will have its own specific detailed set of regulations, which must be read and agreed by members and guests before visiting
- access to common parts (e.g. kitchen and washing facilities) must be kept to the minimum possible dwell time
- ventilation to the greatest possible extent given weather conditions should be maintained whenever the premises are occupied
- social distancing should be maintained including wearing face coverings indoors (this is current law in Wales and Scotland and remains common courtesy in England).
- maximum use of outdoor facilities for cooking and eating is recommended
- cleaning and disinfection of all touch surfaces should be undertaken frequently
These measures are consistent with the law as it presently stands, and are considered reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances. Members and guests must adhere to these measures. Even so, the Club cannot guarantee there is no risk of infection in its huts. It is left to the judgement of individual members to determine whether attending visiting a hut is sensible.
All members and Meet co-ordinators will be asked to provide feedback after visiting a hut. These are challenging times for us all and members are asked to respect the wishes of other hut visitors. After due consideration by the committee, any member or groups associated with a member, ignoring these regulations may face sanctions.
These interim regulations will be reviewed regularly [at lease monthly], with updates posted on the website.
I hope that members will feel increasingly confident to join in with Club activities once again, but I also recognise that we all have to make our own risk assessments.
If members have comments or concerns, please email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org