Covid – Frequently Asked Questions
Find out everything you need to know about climbing safely at TCA during the time of coronavirus. The answers below may be subject to change as government advice evolves.
TCA has rules in place that will ensure everyone can climb safely. Please familiarise yourself with these before climbing. These are updated over time.
How have TCA’s cleaning procedures changed?
TCA is doing everything within reason to protect customers and staff, as well as limiting the spread of Covid-19 to the wider community. A risk assessment has lead to the following policies and procedures being put in place:
• Where possible doors may be left open to limit spreading the virus.
• Door handles and surfaces touched by customers will be cleaned on an enhanced schedule.
• Toilets and showers will be cleaned as normal but, as noted, taps and door handles will be cleaned by staff.
• Rental shoes will be cleaned as normal using sanitiser spray by TCA staff.
• Rental equipment will be cleaned when they are handed out and returned to staff using sanitiser wipes.
• Top ropes, auto-belay tapes and harnesses will not be cleaned.
• Customers and staff should wash their hands before and after handling equipment and make regular use of the sanitiser within centres or hand-washing thoroughly at sinks.
Can I hire shoes – and harnesses (if rope climbing)?
Yes. Please sanitise your hands before and after use.
How was the new centre capacity calculated?
Our capacity calculations have always been set at a level that is more generous than the limitations suggested by government and take into account usable space within centres.
How is TCA managing the number of people in the centre?
Capacity restrictions have been removed but may be reintroduced if required. You can monitor current capacity via our live online capacity tracker. This relates to check-ins and check-outs. Please remember to do both each time you visit.
By buying your entry online, you can help to limit contact with our staff and other customers at reception. Choose your preferred centre and buy pre-paid passes, multi-visit punch cards and monthly billed passes online. Please note that choosing one centre just helps us to keep track of preferences. Your pass or punch card will be valid in all TCA centres. NB. Off-peak passes are currently only available at reception.
Will you have a system to pre-book slots?
No. Pre-allocated slots would create start and end times during which there would be a much higher chance of queues and crowds, at reception and in toilets. There would be congestion as one time slot leaves and another arrives. We want to minimise queues and avoid funnelling centre-users into crowded arrival times by allowing a constant flow throughout the day.
We may periodically introduce booking for certain sections or centres for other reasons, but as standard TCA operates a drop-in system.
Is my membership frozen?
All questions related to membership freezes triggered during multiple lockdowns, should be directed to My TCA, where you can also update personal details.
Will holds be washed more often?
No. Due to practical limitations, hold cleaning will continue at its normal rotation. The principal mode by which people are infected with Covid is through exposure to respiratory droplets. The risk of exposure through surface transmission is generally considered to be low.
Will liquid chalk kill coronavirus?
Liquid chalk is not a replacement for hand sanitiser or thorough hand-washing. You may wish to use it as a back-up. As an extra assurance of safety when climbing peer-reviewed research showed that “the amount of infectious virus was reduced by around 99% immediately upon contact with the chalky surfaces”. Find out more about the research into climbers chalk and coronavirus. You can buy chalk online or from reception.
Do I need to bring my own hand sanitiser?
Most TCA centres have free hand sanitiser available from multiple locations throughout centres. We encourage our customers to use the available sanitiser – or thoroughly wash their hands with soap – as often as possible on arrival, throughout your session, especially if changing climbing areas and before leaving.
Are centres ventilated?
TCA will ensure all sites are ventilated as much as possible with the systems we have in place. This will include making sure fans and extraction are always on and turned to an appropriate level. We have introduced C02 monitors which are an effective measure of ventilation. These track C02 in different places at different times, including peak usage. We will take additional measures if the quality is ever shown to fall below standard.
When is the quietest time in your centres?
Mornings and daytime generally remain the quietest time of day. Weekday evenings are always our busiest time. If you have any leeway, please think about varying your attendance times to help ease congestion. Keep an eye on our capacity tracker at your preferred times for up-to-date indications.
Will you be open at the same time as you used to?
Click locations for the latest hours.
How is TCA managing social distancing?
There is an expectation on all customers to observe social distancing with other customers in the building – with respect to government guidelines. Screens are in place in some locations.
Do I have to wear a mask when climbing?
Rules on face coverings will be conveyed in centres. This may vary between our English and Scottish centres and will vary over time. Please bring one with you unless you are exempt, just in case.
Will you be running groups, clubs and lessons?
See locations for details.
Where can I buy entry online?
To help minimise congestion at tills, we are asking visitors to buy entry online, where possible. There are a number of ways to do this. Punch cards are pre-paid visits. You can buy them in 5s or 10s and they can be used anytime. You can also sign up for pre-paid passes online. You find out about the options on our prices page. This could be via a rolling monthly payment or a time-limited pass, e.g. 1 month or 1 year. To buy passes or punch cards online click on the links below:
Choose your preferred centre. Please note that choosing one centre just helps us to keep track of users. Your pass or punch card will be valid in all TCA centres.
NB. Off-peak passes are currently only available at reception.
As an external instructor or coach can I just turn up with a group?
No. All external group leaders must contact TCA in advance of attending one of our centres to discuss whether this is possible for their group.
I’m concerned about social distancing in toilets and changing areas, what are you doing about that?
We are asking all climbers to come ready to climb. The more people who do this, the less congestion we’ll have in these spaces. Where available, accessible toilets will provide a socially distant space for changing. Where possible please avoid bringing excessive belongs into centres and always use the lockers provided – keeping walkways clear.
Will children’s classes be running as usual?
We will run kids classes when guidelines permit. See locations for details.
Will your cafe be open?
Our cafes will open in accordance with current government advice.
Passes and Membership
If you have a question about your pass or membership, this must be submitted via My TCA.