Coronavirus

After several months of regular updates in line with evolving legislation, we're now going to use this page to provide the latest information for activity in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Please check it regularly and follow the links to various government and mountaineering council pages.

Please contact one of our approved providers if you have any questions or concerns about taking part in a Mountain Training course.

England

Updated: 11/09/2020

Mountain Training courses are being delivered in England in line with appropriate UK Government guidance. Social distancing remains in place at 2m except where that's not possible, in which case 1m with mitigation measures in place. Climbing walls can open although some require advanced booking and some remain closed.

Government guidance currently states that in England: "From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors."

This key requirement seeks to ‘limit how many different people you see socially over a period of time’. The legislation concerns gathering for social reasons. ‘Section 2’ outlines exceptions which include:
  • education, training, or registered childcare (including wraparound care)
  • organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes (see the list of recreational team sports, outdoor sport and exercise allowed under the gyms and leisure centre guidance
  • youth groups or activities
  • elite sporting competition or training
Mountain Training England presently feels that course delivery fits within these exceptions therefore acknowledge it is still permissible to deliver courses, subject to appropriate mitigation measures in England.

Providers working with more than five participants will be operating under different legislation and hence follow enhanced guidelines.

MTA - Helping keep outdoor activities Covid secure

Useful links:

BMC article - Coronavirus and hill walking: your questions answered

BMC article - Coronavirus and Climbing Walls: Q&A with Professor Ian Hall

BMC article - Restarting club meets



Countryside Code in England

Ireland

Updated: 26/08/2020

On Tuesday 18th August the Republic of Ireland Government announced a limit of 15 people for outdoor events and gatherings. The indoor limit is six. Mountain Training courses are taking place in Republic of Ireland, in line with appropriate Republic of Ireland Government guidance. Social distancing remains in place at 2m. Climbing walls can open although some require advanced booking and some remain closed.

Useful links:

Mountaineering Ireland latest

Irish Government - Coronavirus latest

Mountaineering Ireland Good Practice Guide

Northern Ireland

Updated: 26/08/2020

Mountain Training courses can take place in Northern Ireland, in line with appropriate Northern Ireland Executive/UK Government guidance. Social distancing remains in place at 2m. Climbing walls can open although some require advanced booking and some remain closed. There are limitations on the number of households/support bubbles who can meet indoors (six people from two households) and outdoors (15).

Useful links:

Mountaineering Ireland latest

Northern Ireland Executive - regulations and what they mean for you

Countryside Code in Northern Ireland

Scotland

Updated: 14/09/2020

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, provided the latest review of coronavirus restrictions in Holyrood on the 10th September 2020.

She noted that the Scottish Government is not yet able to move to sanction a move to phase 4, in light of recent increases in cases of COVID-19 across the country. The decision has also been taken to pause some changes which had been provisionally scheduled for later this month. Tighter restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings have also been announced, reduced to a maximum of six people, from no more than two households, in a move which the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described as "not welcome, but necessary."

Whilst these changes affect social activity, organised and led outdoor mountain-related activity is exempt from the 6 from 2 restriction.

Mountain Training Scotland course provision can be undertaken, providing all activity is consistent with current Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene. Providers and candidates must be able to adapt to changes in guidance at short notice. Information on Scottish Government's approach to managing COVID-19 is available at Scottish Government: Coronavirus in Scotland.

As of 14th September 2020 the following Mountain Training Scotland guidance relating to course provision in this document should be implemented and it may also be a useful document for all leaders, instructors, and coaches operating in a formal capacity in Scotland. The updated guidance supersedes all previous relevant guidance.

The table in this document provides an overview of key guidance relating to group activity, group sizes etc.

Where a locality or region is subject to localised restrictions, not all of the changes detailed in this document will apply. Details of local restrictions are available HERE.



Guidance for formal led activity:

Useful links:

Mountaineering Scotland article - Guidance for hill walkers and climbers in Scotland

Scottish Government: What you can and can't do

Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Wales

Updated: 16/09/2020

On Friday 11th September, the First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, announced a tightening of restrictions across Wales in response to an increase in the number of positive tests for Covid 19, particularly in the South Wales valleys. The latest restrictions are specifically aimed at reducing the risk of transmission within social settings. Stricter localised restrictions have been introduced in Caerphilly and others may follow over the coming weeks.

From Monday 14th September, the following additional restrictions apply across Wales:
• Face coverings in indoor public places are mandatory. Exceptions do apply and full details can be found here.
• Meeting individuals from outside your extended household must take place outside.
• Indoor social meetings are now limited to a maximum of six people who must all be from within an extended household.

Mountain Training course delivery Currently, the latest Welsh Government restrictions do not impact on the viability of any schemes in Wales, indoors or outdoors. It is clear that groups of up to 30 people can still meet outdoors and indoors to participate in organised sport. The following statement confirms what remains permissible indoors: “exercise with others, in a gathering of no more than 30 people, at a fitness studio, gym, swimming pool, other indoor leisure centre or facility or any other open premises.”.

MTA - Helping keep outdoor activities Covid secure

Useful links:

Welsh Government Coronavirus homepage

Welsh Government Coronavirus FAQ's

BMC article - Coronavirus and hill walking: your questions answered

BMC article - Coronavirus and Climbing Walls: Q&A with Professor Ian Hall

BMC article - Restarting club meets



Welsh Government - Coronavirus regulations and FAQs

Countryside Code in Wales

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