Date: 12th July 2021

COVID-19 Policies

Please read and follow Durham Climbing Centre's guidelines designed for the safety and enjoyment of our visitors and staff.

Updated: 12 July 2021

It is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July (to be confirmed one week before) as part of the PM’s vision to 'find a new way of living with the virus’. This step involves considerable easing of restrictions however, here at Durham Climbing Centre we remain cautious and proactive in our approach to managing the spread of infection in our centre.

The management of COVID-19 in our centre has been hugely effective in managing the spread of infection. The measures and cautious approach our team have taken has led to an extremely low prevalence of the virus in our centre. Our team have not been affected by staff absence and it has been very minimal among centre users. Thank you to all visitors for complying with these measures and helping each other to minimise the spread. 

COVID-19 Symptoms

  1. Please do not attend Durham Climbing Centre if you, or anyone from your household displays symptoms of COVID-19.
  2. If you book a session, then develop symptoms – please contact us to cancel your session and offer an exchange to a different session.

Local / National restrictions

Please follow all guidance on local restrictions when visiting Durham Climbing Centre.

From 19th July, the following guidance applies to all centre users: 

Social Distancing

  • From Monday 19 July we are encouraging climbers to continue to social distancing with other climbers in the centre
Capacity Limits
  • Our capacity restrictions will be loosened slightly, however we are maintaining a reduced maximum capacity. This means that climbers and spectators can feel safer and easily practice social distancing

Time Restrictions on climbing sessions

  • From Monday 19th July, we are relaxing time limits on adult climbing area and beginner climbing area drop in sessions. These sessions will move from a 1.75 hour climbing session, to an unlimited climbing session. Please continue to book your start time online.
  • There are no changes to terms and conditions on pre-paid 4 week, 3 month or annual passes. 

Hand Hygiene

  • The Covid Contingency plan created in March 2020 introduced two new sink areas in the advanced and beginner climbing areas. These sinks will remain in place for hand hygiene of visitors.
  • Liquid chalk will continue to be used by staff on all coaching sessions and sharing of loose chalk is discouraged. Loose chalk hire is unavailable currently.

Face Coverings

  • For the time being, our staff will continue to wear face coverings at all times.
  • We strongly recommend that climbers and spectators wear face coverings on arrival and departure, when moving around the centre and at all times except when climbing, eating or drinking.


  • To protect our staff and customers from the risk of infection, reception screens will remain in place for the time being.

Table service

  • For the convenience of customers, table service will continue to be offered in the coffee lounge, and outdoor seating areas.

Online Booking & Walk - ins

  • Online booking will continue as the preferred method of entry
  • Online bookings take priority over walk-in
  • Walk in's are accepted from 19th July
  • If the centre is at maximum capacity with online bookings, walk-in's will be refused entry. 

Please continue to follow all mandatory guidance below prior to 19th July. Thank you.

Masks & Face coverings

Following guidance from the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) climbers and spectators are advised of the following –

Face coverings should be worn at all times by customers in the centre except when they are climbing, using exercise equipment or seated in the cafe with food or drink.

This includes whilst on the boulder mats and moving around in circulation spaces. The usual medical exemptions apply.

Masks and face coverings for children

The WHO have updated their guidance on children wearing masks. Please can children visiting the centre follow the latest guidance which is -

Children aged 12 and over - should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee a distance of at least one meter from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.

Children aged between 6 and 11 - the WHO advises taking into account how widespread the transmission of the virus is and whether the child is interacting with high risk individuals such as the elderly. It also stresses the need for adult supervision to help children use, put on and take masks off safely. Coaches are able to assist with helping children to use, put on and take off masks safely.

Children ages 5 and under - should not, under normal circumstances, wear masks.

Social Distancing

Please practice social distancing at all times by regular climbers and those attending for instructional group sessions organised by Durham Climbing Centre. The only exception is for same households and support bubbles.

As a centre, we have taken the decision to operate lower than the maximum capacity allowed so climbers can feel safer and can comfortably maintain social distancing.

Please pay attention to PHE posters and signage advising climbers to maintain 2 meters social distance during their climb.

Please follow the one – way system around the centre.

Screens are in place in reception to protect customers and staff.

Due to the stringent measures in place, social distancing can be practiced in all areas of the centre. 

The indoor cafe seating areas reopen from Monday 17 May, and all food and drinks may be consumed in the coffee lounge or outdoor seating areas. Rule of 6 / two households applies indoors and maximum 30 people outdoors.

Hygiene Measures

Please wash hands or sanitise on arrival and when leaving. Hand washing is preferable over sanitising. Two additional sinks have been installed in the Beginner Climbing Area and Advanced Climbing Area to encourage hand washing.

Sanitiser stations are placed all around the centre for use by customers.

PHE posters and signage advising customers of hygiene measures are placed around the centre.

Please wash your hands and sanitise regularly during your climbing sessions.

Public Health England consider climbing holds to be part of the infrastructure of the climbing centre, therefore it is not reasonably practical to clean holds after every single use. Climbers must take responsibility for their own personal hygiene on every session.

Cleaning checklists are performed by staff at the start and end of every session. Cleaning focusses on touch points, surfaces and seating areas.

Internal doors remain open where possible to reduce touch points and improve ventilation.

Personal sanitisers, face masks and liquid chalk are available to purchase at reception.

Capacity Management

Durham Climbing Centre is following guidelines from UKActive and ABC to manage capacity effectively. Gyms and climbing centres are allowed 1 person per 9m2.

The maximum capacity in the centre is 54. We are now operating under our maximum capacity to allow for social distancing and for the enjoyment of climbers at the centre .

The maximum capacity at Durham Climbing Centre is split between the beginner area an advanced climbing areas.

Arrival times and departure times are staggered to minimise contact.

If you have booked for a session in the advanced area or beginner area, you should remain in this area during your session to allow us to maintain capacities in both areas.


Spectators are not permitted to attend during adult climbing sessions and may only attend with children on pre-booked classes or events. This is limited to 1 parent per child - this is due to non-climbing spectators affecting the maximum capacity in each area of the centre at all times.

Online Booking - MANDATORY

Online booking is mandatory for all sessions you would like to attend. No booking is required for pass holders. The full calendar of offerings can be viewed from the home page.

Novice and Beginners Climbers

Novice and beginner climbers are welcome at the centre. Please book a Beginner Taster session online and Pre-register before you attend.

Arriving for your climb

Please arrive in your climbing clothing and ready to climb

Please bring minimal items into the climbing centre (lockers and changing rooms are out of use)

Please wait in your car or outside the centre until arrival time.

Please check in on arrival and check out when you leave. This ensures we can keep a record of everyone in the centre at any one time for capacity management, and a track of who has visited on each day for track and trace purposes.

Check in & Check Out - Mandatory

We have been working hard to make checking in and out as easy as possible for centre users. It is mandatory to check in and out of your session. This can be done one of three ways -

1) Report to the reception desk on the way in and when leaving

2) Scan in and out using a membership card and automatic scanner

3) Scan in and out using a personal mobile device (phone) and automatic scanner - This is the preferred method

For options 2 & 3 please download the RGP app and ask a member of the team to sync your account, you may also use the app to make future bookings and check real time capacity.

Please download the RGPConnect app ready to connect on arrival.

Download RGP Connect for Android

Download RGP Connect for Apple

Track and Trace

A sophisticated track and trace system is connected to the check in and out system. This means should we be notified of a potential positive COVID-19 case, our team can alert all centre users who visited around the same time.

Additionally, NHS Track and Trace is in place and may be scanned on arrival.

Annual & 3 Month Pass holders

Unlimited Climbing Passes are frozen during closure + extra days added

  • All existing passes have been frozen on both periods of lockdown. The first period of lockdown began on 16th March and ended on 25th July. All passes have had 131 days added on to account for the closure.
  • The second period of lockdown began on 5th November 2020 and ended on 2nd December 2020. All passes from this period have had the number of days closed + 7 extra days and 4 days prior to closure added to their passes.
  • The third period of lockdown in England began on 30th December 2020 and is expected to last until 12th April 2021. All passes are frozen with 7 complimentary days + 3 additional days added to passes for when the centre reopens. 
  • Existing 3-month & 12 month passes – are not required to book online. For your convenience, and due to extra room in our upper capacity we can allow pass holders to attend any time without pre-booking. Please bring your Membership Card or check in via mobile device on arrival. This policy will be kept under review.

10 Session Passes

  • All 10 Session Pass holders will not need to book online between
    • 8am - 4pm Monday - Friday & all day on Saturday and Sunday

Outside of these times please book a slot online where you will be charged a non-refundable fee of £1.00. Please bring your Membership Card or check in via mobile device on arrival. This policy will be kept under review.

Groups Visiting the Centre

Instructional groups

Adult classes may resume from 17 May.

The ABC and partners Sport England have issued the following guidance regarding the use of groups within the leisure sector:

People can also continue to use leisure facilities, including gyms and pools - classes within these venues can continue as they are now. People should not go to these venues socially in groups of more than six.

That's because these sports and activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19, and because these venues are classed as COVID-secure given the measures they’ve introduced.

Groups of children are permitted up to 15, plus an adult. Adult instructed groups are permitted up to 6 plus a coach. These groups can mix from different households and are excluded from the local restrictions. Extra measures we are taking as part of our risk assessment is to keep the same individuals within these groups.

An organised group includes all instructor led sessions at Durham Climbing Centre. This includes and is not exclusive to: Rock Stars Lessons, & events, NIBAS sessions, Academy sessions, Route Setting Workshop and all instructed other groups at Durham Climbing Centre. Organised groups sessions may continue with a maximum of 15 children and 6 adults. Instructors are not included within these numbers.

For regular climbers (not part of an organised group), please do not visit the centre in groups of more than 6. Please comply with local / national restrictions relating to mixing with other households.

Children's Sessions

Rock Stars Climbing Club

Following a Children’s Sessions risk assessment, we are now offering smaller group sessions with a maximum of 8 children, 1 coach and 1 parent per child.

More weekly sessions have been added to the timetable to ensure there is enough space for everyone.

We are carefully managing capacity in the centre at busy times. Please can only one parent per child attend climbing sessions with their child.

We encourage parents to drop off and collect children where possible (over 12 years club and Academy only – all 3-6 years & 7-11 years one parent must be present)

School Holiday Activity Camps

We are pleased to advise that Activity Camps are operating under COVID-secure guidelines and all appropriate measures are in place.

Additional measures in place are social distancing practiced on camps, regular hand washing, masks worn by camp coaches and staff, reduced numbers capped at 15 children per day, breakfast club and afternoon tea provided in coffee lounge areas to provide more space and adhere to social distancing, adapted activities and lesson plans for all activities.

Full refund: A full refund or transfer to a different date is offered if camps are unable to go ahead due to local or national lockdown restrictions.

Equipment shop

A wide range of climbing shoes and accessories are available in the shop. We would respectfully ask that you only touch items you are considering purchasing. It is still possible to try on climbing shoes, as these are sanitised with a clothing spray.

Use of Chalk

  • Hire Chalk

Hire chalk is not permitted to rent. We have good supplies of chalk available to buy in the shop.

  • Sharing Chalk

It is strongly advised to bring your own chalk to each session, and to avoid using other people’s chalk.

Liquid Chalk

The equipment shop stocks 70%+ alcohol liquid chalk. It is strongly recommended that you make the switch from loose to liquid chalk. There is growing evidence that liquid chalk can kill the virus, and this still a useful back up.

Use of liquid chalk

Please ensure liquid chalk is fully dry on your hands before touching the holds to avoid chalk build up on the holds.

Hire equipment

Hire Shoes

Hire shoes are available to rent. After each use they are disinfected on the inside and the outside of the shoe to reduce the likelihood of smear infection. There is no evidence that the virus is transmitted through sweat.

Hire shoes can be dropped off on the dedicated shoe rack in reception on departure.

Rock Hard Café

All of your favourite paninis and seasonal lattes are available for take away in disposable eco-friendly packaging. Protein bars, confectionary and cold drinks may be purchased from reception. Cash and card is accepted. 

Cash / Card Payments

Cash and card payments are accepted. Contactless card facilities are available.

Facilities out of use – sorry for inconvenience

Changing Rooms & Lockers

Will be out of use. Please arrive ready to climb. Trays will be available to store belongings. These will be disinfected after use.

Drinks Fountain

Please bring your own drinks or purchase from the café.

Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2021

We confirm we have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19


We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and shared the results with the people who work here.

We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance.

We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home.

We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace.

Where people cannot be 2m apart, we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk.

All policies are kept under review by management and may change in accordance with government guidelines.

Health and Safety Officer: Hayley McKenna

St John's Road, Meadowfield Ind. Est, Durham, County Durham, DH7 8TZ

0191 378 9555

[email protected]

Hayley McKenna Manager