Coronavirus Pandemic - last updated on Sunday 18 April 2021
Caving Is Now Allowed EverywhereThis is an update to the page published almost a month ago on March 22nd. The Welsh Government has announced a series of relaxations to its Covid rules and a timetable for further steps back towards normality if the public health situation continues to improve in Wales. Recent statistics make encouraging news with ONS reporting a drop to 1 in 500 people across the UK infected with the virus. WG and Public Health Wales’ latest figures show the infection rate across most of Wales is between 1 per 1000 and 1 per 2000. The number of vaccine shots administered across the UK has now passed 40 million with the UK rollout seen as one of the best performers internationally:TravelFrom 12 April all travel restrictions within the UK have been lifted. With outdoors hospitality already opened up in England, Welsh residents are at liberty to cross the border to enjoy an English pub garden pint and meal along perhaps with some caving further away from home.Retail and HospitalityFrom 12 April all retail shops and close-contact services were allowed to re-open in Wales, and from Monday 26th April Wales is set to re-open outdoors hospitality, outdoors visitor attractions like funfairs and theme parks, plus organised outdoors activities for up to 30 people. Indoors hospitality remains closed except for takeaway service.AccommodationSelf-catering properties in Wales are now available for single households (including support bubbles). Multiple households should be able to go on holiday in self-catering properties from 3rd May, although the Welsh Government has yet to clarify if any restrictions on party size (such as the ‘rule of six from only two households’) would apply. Previously the WG had set a target of May 17th for both indoor hospitality and the remaining visitor accommodation to re-open in advance of the Late Spring Bank Holiday at the end of May.SummaryAccording to https://gov.wales/current-restrictions-summary the rules remaining in force in Wales from 12th April are to:1.Follow social distancing rules with people you don’t live with or who are not in your support bubble2.wear a face covering (if you are able to) in all indoor public places3.not create an extended household (some people may be able to form a support bubble with one other household)4.meet only the people you live with or your support bubble indoors5.limit the number of people you meet socially (a maximum of 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors including in private gardens)6.not travel internationally without reasonable excuse.Access To Ogof Ffynnon Ddu And Facilities At South Wales Caving ClubFrequently changing National regulations governing travel, outdoor meeting and use of residential accommodation (including camping) have all impacted on the ability of SWCC to maintain its normal services to the wider caving community.During April 2021 the Club has been able to open OFD to permit-holding caving groups, using the normal booking system via the permit secretary. It is still important that all visitors sign in and record their visit to the cave. The use of the ‘porch’ toilets has been made possible for visiting caving groups by the redesigning of the facilities in the doorway of the changing room cottage. Respecting social distancing and maintenance of hygiene are of course essential and we request they are left in a clean condition. However, there is no access to the changing rooms or showers as these are deemed shared facilities excluded by current Covid regulations.Unfortunately SWCC cannot offer any residential facilities to non-members at this time.This specifically means that at the moment there is no visitor camping and no use of any of the facilities inside the building other than the porch with the OFD access resources and the toilets. i.e Visitors must all be non-residential. As soon as we are able to do so we will inform the wider caving community so please help us in this staged endeavour to return caving to its previous normality.SWCC Hon Sec. April 2021.