The British Caving Association (BCA) and the Speleological Union of Ireland (SUI) have issued more advice about how to make a safe return to caving.
BCA secretary Russell Myers has sent the following:
BCA notes that both the Scottish and Welsh governments have indicated a possible relaxation of their 5 mile local travel restriction scheduled for the 3rd and 6th July. However, it is as yet unclear as to what they might consider about relaxing rules covering club huts. BCA will continue to monitor developments.
BCA has issued advice this week on inspecting huts which have remained closed for the lock down and noted the English government’s guidance on re-opening hostels, albeit in a more ‘hotel’ like mode. That guidance should be considered by clubs with huts to see if they can make sufficient changes to their hut rules to achieve the aim of the guidance material. BCA is aware of at least one club which has devised a set of rules to enable their hut to re-open in a limited fashion.
BCA considers that clubs can organise the loan of club tackle subject to ensuring a quarantine period of at least 3 days between use.
BCA considers that it is likely that cavers, along with other visitors, will not be welcome in some rural communities. In addition, it is anticipated that permission may not be granted to descend those caves and mines where it is required; especially if that requires face to face contact. Cavers should check with their Regional Caving Council web site to what guidance is available on accessible caves and mines.
BCA Acting Secretary
27 June 2020
SUI Chair Conor Winchcombe has sent out the following:
With the beginning of Lockdown easing Phase 3 in Ireland and Stage 3 in Northern Ireland the SUI has updated its guidelines regarding Caving and published our Return to Sport Protocol, we request all our members read the document and carefully consider the guidelines before engaging in Caving training or trips.
We have also published protocol and associated documents such as the return to sport form templates on our website. We encourage all cavers to follow these guidelines for their safety and the safety of others and to use their best judgement when deciding where and when to go caving and training.
Stay safe and I hope to see you underground soon.