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 Covid 19 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.

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.

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the beginning of the pandemic to the extent that advice about quarantining equipment (typically 3 days) between use is withdrawn.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

COVID-19 Update – 06/01/2021

The government have now announced that we are to enter a third lockdown, and their message is “Say Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”. These measures are being taken to stem the spread of the Covid 19 virus as the number of infections and deaths are again rapidly on the rise.

Although exercise is permitted, it is restricted to exercising alone, with members of your own household / bubble, or with one other person. This exercise can only be taken within the immediate local area, town, city in which you reside.

Unfortunately, due to these constraints, venturing underground will be off limits until such times the government lift the restrictions imposed.

COVID-19 Update – 08/07/2020

DCUC supports BCA advice and now considers that the risk from the Coronavirus Covid 19 is sufficiently well understood that caving and mine exploration may be resumed subject to a number of considerations.  They are:

  1. Respecting the wishes of land owners in respect of access to caves and mines;
  2. Noting that some rural communities may still be reluctant to have visitors, so check local information before visiting and take care when approaching any location;
  3. The ‘service’ provided by cave rescue organisations may be reduced and could take longer to arrive at the scene of an incident, so cavers and mine explorers should special care to reduce the risk of a call out;
  4. Maintaining an appropriate social distance where possible both above and underground where reasonable between persons not of the same household, so as to minimise the risk of transmission of the coronavirus; and
  5. Keep a record for at least 21 days of who they have associated with in case they subsequently realise that they are infected, so as to facilitate the government’s test and trace programme.

More information of the current BCA advice at
https://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php

COVID-19. HMG ADVICE ON OPENING HOSTELS

The government has issued guidance to hostel operators in England on re-opening on 4 July. This can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/…/w…/hotels-and-other-guest-accommodation

Most underground sites in Devon & Cornwall are on private land. You must check with the landowner if they are willing for you to cross their land and, if they are, pay any necessary fees. You must also follow HMG covid-19 advice while carrying out any activity.

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The Devon and Cornwall Underground Council (DCUC) is the regional caving council for Devon and Cornwall. It is an organisation composed of Individuals, Caving Clubs and other groups and organisations who are interested in caving and exploring mines within the counties of Devon and Cornwall.

Close liaison is maintained with the other Regional Councils and also with the Sports Council, English Nature and other local and national organisations.

DCUC is a constituent member of the British Caving Association (BCA) and is represented on the National Council and on the various special committees of the BCA. These committees along with the National Council conduct the business of the BCA.

The Devon and Cornwall Undergound Council invites all clubs in Cornwall and Devon to nominate a representative at attend meetings of the Council. Further information can be found at secretary@dcuc.org.uk