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COVID-19 Phase 3 update - a step forward for clubs and indoor climbing

Tuesday 25th August 2020, 4:40pm


The latest Scottish Government review of Phase 3 of routemap through the COVID-19 pandemic on 20 August brought good news for clubs and climbing walls, with the date that gyms and other indoor sports facilities can open being brought forward to 31 August, and a change to the guidelines for organised outdoor sports, meaning that clubs can accommodate larger organised group activities with specific measures in place.

Whilst the limits to the number of households meeting informally outside still apply, flexibility has now been introduced to allow larger organised group outdoor activities to take place under the supervision of a designated 'leader' with the provision that physical distancing of 2m is maintained and other measures are in place, including recording of participants contact details for test and trace purposes.

We have had confirmation that this means that organised non-contact outdoor club activities for a maximum of 30 people can take place (adults and children), with no restriction on the number of households, although car sharing is still not allowed due to physical distancing requirements.  This advice is also reflected in the latest advice for coaches, instructors and leaders produced by Mountain Training Scotland. For further information and updated club guidance visit our dedicated Coronavirus page.


Coronavirus information for clubs

The reopening of climbing walls will be widely welcomed by clubs, individuals and the wider public. However, it is important to recognise that several challenges including the current economic landscape still need to be overcome before we are back towards anything like normal.   

While the desire to reopen facilities is clear, the difficulties presented by COVID-19 means that some facilities may not open on day one, and reduced capacity due to the required physical distancing will have a direct impact on the operation and economic viability of some facilities.

We are in the final stages of our work with the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) and sportscotland to put the guidelines in place to ensure a safe return to indoor climbing for everyone. These guidelines will then be submitted to Scottish Government for sign off and will be published on the sportscotland website and circulated to our partners in the Scottish Climbing Wall Network.

We understand this will be frustrating for many people but while we all continue to work towards our shared goals and objectives, the continued support, patience and understanding of everyone involved, is more important than before.

To help members prepare and understand some of the ongoing challenges we have set out some frequently asked questions below and will continue to update members when we have more information.

Got questions about getting back to indoor climbing? Read the FAQs on the ClimbScotland website.



Mountaineering Scotland is the representative organisation for Scotland's hill walkers, indoor and outdoor climbers, boulderers, mountaineers and ski tourers, with nearly 15,000 members from all walks of life.

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