Changes to LCC London Covid measures from 19th July

To our fantastic climbing community: We’ve come a long way together in the last 16 months and we are optimistic that this third wave feels like the final hurdle.

Firstly, a huge ‘thank you’ for your support during this pandemic.

To all the members who loaned us or donated their dues through the lockdowns: You will forever be remembered and we will continue to cook up rewards. Each time we have reopened, we have been blown away by the appetite to get back to climbing and the continued growth of new climbers visiting our centres.

We feel we have struck a good balance and built a solid reputation for Covid safety and looking after our team. Due to rising cases coming at the same time as the Government lifting restrictions, the three months ahead could be the most challenging for us yet.

Rather than partaking in “Freedom Day”, we will be easing our Covid measures in phases. The primary goal of the phases is to give our young team the opportunity to get receive both doses of their vaccination.

The secondary goals of our easing of polices is to:

  • Protect our customers from increased risk of transmission in our centres;
  • Maintain our reputation for safety;
  • Reduce pressure on the team to enforce mask wearing and social distancing by putting the responsibility on the climbing community; and
  • Bring our junior mask policy more in line with Government guidance and general practice to make our junior programme more appealing as we move into the summer holidays.

Detail of what and when we will ease

Capacities:

Controlling our capacities allows you to maintain social distancing while climbing and reduces the risk of transmission. Ventilation also plays a key part and we continue to maximise this at all of our centres. We are a long way off our pre-Covid capacities and with the following small increases you will still be able to comfortably manage your spacing. The team will no longer be policing this but we will keep our signs up around the centres as a reminder. Recently, capacity has only been an issue at VauxWall and CanaryWall. RavensWall and BethWall have flirted with reaching capacity on occasion but the most you have had to wait for access is 10 minutes. HarroWall and CroyWall have lots of space and never reach their capacities. Here is our plan for the next two months. We will monitor and adjust if needed.

Site Capacity from 18th June 2021 Capacity from 19th July 2021 Capacity from 1st August 2021
HarroWall 220 250 270
RavensWall 95 100 110
VauxWall West 90 100 110
VauxWall East 80 90 100
CroyWall 80 90 100
BethWall Green 80 90 100
CanaryWall 50 60 70

Mask Policy:

Masks will be the hot topic of the next few months and losing the Government mandate makes it harder for our team to enforce wearing them. But with rising cases and many of our team and climbing community not having had their first and/or second jab, it would be irresponsible to get rid of them in July. Apart from some tweaks on masks on instructed sessions, our mask policy will be the same until the end of July. From 1st August it becomes mandatory at recepetion and strongly reccommended in the rest of the centre. Full breakdown:

Who Mask policy from 12th April 2021 Mask policy from 19th July 2021 Mask policy from 1st August 2021
Staff Team Masks 100% of the time Masks 100% of the time Masks 100% of the time
Independent climbers Masks on when NOT climbing or using gym equipment or seated in café areas.

 (Unless exempt)

Masks on when NOT climbing or using gym equipment or seated in café areas.

(Unless exempt)

Masks on in proximity to reception to protect staff. Recommended in climbing areas

(Unless exempt)

Instructed climbers aged 11 and up. Masks on with no exemptions and masks on all juniors Masks on when NOT climbing

(Unless exempt)

Masks on when NOT climbing

(Unless exempt)

Aged 10 & under Optional when independent climbing, mandatory on instruction.  Masks optional when instructed or independent Masks optional when instructed or independent

Booking:

Love it or hate it, booking has been a necessity at VauxWall and CanaryWall since we reopened in July 2020. We have altered it so that it is only necessary on evenings and weekends and we will continue to review it in the coming months.

With our increases in capacity, if CanaryWall and VauxWall are not regularly fully-booked we may be able to remove the need to book. For now, please continue to book to avoid disappointment.

Instructed sessions:

We have reduced our instructed sessions significantly since reopening but we’ve slowly been gearing up to offer our extensive programme again, particularly our popular Krazy Climb sessions at HarroWall. Perfect timing for those staycations!

From 26th July, we be restarting our full programme at HarroWall and each centre will have some summer sessions for kids to enjoy.

For beginners, our Induction Plus sessions are back as well as private instructed sessions to cater specifically to your needs. We’re even bringing back our free socials to help you meet other climbers and to offer you hints and tips in a more casual way.

A few miscellaneous updates:

  • Our full-time team members are increasing lateral flow testing to three times per week and part-time staff twice per week. This is to help identify potential transmission within the team early
  • We will be removing our one-way systems at VauxWall East and CroyWall
  • We will bring back changing rooms at VauxWall East
  • We will maintain our regular cleaning
  • Hand gel will be readily available around the centres
  • We will be keeping our Perspex screens at reception
  • Social distancing will no longer be enforced by the team but signage remains in place.
  • You will still need to check out at the end of each session so we have accurate tracking records for Public Health England if needed.
  • We are bringing back indoor café seating at VauxWall West & East

Our recommendations while climbing at our centres to reduce transmission of the virus:

  • Please adhere to our mask policy in July and we strongly recommend you continue to wear a mask in the centre into August too
  • Maintain 1m+ plus distance from other climbers as much as possible
  • Keep conversations with our team brief as they serve hundreds of climbers each shift
  • When socialising with other climbers, keep your distance and wear a mask
  • Sanitise your hands on arrival and regularly throughout your session
  • Get vaccinated as soon as you are able, if you are able

Final thoughts (calm yourself, Jerry)

We truly hope this is the final hurdle but we will monitor and adapt as needed to keep giving you as much access as possible to this fantastic sport. We will get our website up to date with these changes in the coming days.

Trying to give you unhindered but safe access to our centres in the coming months will be a tricky balancing act. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation with our evolving policies. We keep them all under regular review.

Thanks for reading and, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. The best way to contact the LCC senior team is by emailing [email protected].

Tom Hull

Regional Manager

LCC London