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Covid Update

Covid Roadmap Update 25th June 2021

The Government has reviewed its plan, Covid-19 Response Spring 2021 – the Roadmap out of Lockdown, about the way out of the current lockdown situation. Due to the current rise in case rates the plan has been revised and the implementation date for the fourth step which would have seen restrictions lifted, moved to 19th July.

BCA offers the following advice about how this affects caving. This applies only to England; cavers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should consult the advice offered by the devolved governments for those regions. Cavers in all areas should refer to their Regional Councils for any specific advice pertinent to that area.

The status of Step 3 (implemented on 17th May) remains in force allows up to 2 groups of 6 or two households to meet indoors and stay overnight allowing more use of Club huts. There are no legal travel restrictions and with up to 30 people allowed to meet outdoors, the situation is open for more “normal” caving activities.  However, individuals should refer to their home location for more detailed advice about social contact including travel into and out of “covid hotspots” and form their own judgement of their particular circumstances.

July 19th is now the expected date for restrictions to be lifted but the Government has indicated a potential review midway to that date which may affect this advice.

Covid transmission mitigations i.e. social distancing, handwashing, and face mask wearing should continue to be implemented until advised otherwise. Fomite transmission (transmitting the virus by contact with contaminated surfaces) is not as significant as originally thought at the beginning of the pandemic to the extent that advice about quarantining equipment (typically 3 days) between use is withdrawn. (See reference below).

Finally, Cavers should always be sensitive to local sensitivities in the areas they visit. 

Reference site/documents:

(COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Risk from sports Equipment (STRIKE) | medRxiv

Russell Myers

Acting BCA Chair

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