Coronavirus and Caving

Update 14 May 2020 – COVID-19 – STAY SAFE

We understand the predicament you’re all in: some of you are climbing the walls, perhaps you’re dreaming of digs yet to come.

Luckily the BCA has provided us with some rules for Caving with Corona, and a statement on the caving situation ahead.

  1. No caving until February. We have legal evidence that the caves need a winter to flush out the corona-filled air. This is because the low temperatures and 100% humidity of caves preserve the virus.
  2. Before February, some permits can be issued if you are an “essential caver”. Reasons for essential caver status is not limited to securing gates, photocopying surveys, filling in digs, taking stal core samples and writing BCA policy.
  3. Landowners will be asked to physically block the entrances of caves. No action needs to be taken on Mendip.
  4. An American style decontamination procedure must be undertaken before and after each trip. All of your kit including ropes and software must be soaked in ethanol. Take ethanol wipes for cleaning bolts as you cave and try to avoid touching the walls. The tradition of soaking yourself in ethanol post trip is encouraged.
  5. Post February, we have planned “regional cave hubs”. This will allow the over 70s to self isolate alone but still go caving. Consequently the over 70s should restrict themselves to the following caves: Yordas, Jugholes, Reservoir Hole and Porth ye Ogof. The under 70s should avoid these caves for the foreseeable future.

We hope these 5 simple rules for Caving with Corona are clear.

Remember, Stay Alert, Save Stals, Protect the CNCC