VCC COVID-19 Safety Plan and resuming club activities

The VCC Committee has agreed to a COVID-19 Safety Plan which is required by the Government and DHHS. This plan enables the club to safely resume running club trips, courses and activities in 2021.

Our regular club trips, courses and activities can now be planned and advertised once trip leaders are organised. This plan ensures the safety of all participants on our trips, as well as the local community. The Learn2Lead Courses will also resume as soon as dates are finalised.

There are a few important changes to our previous procedures:

  1. The VCC Trip Register has been updated and will also become our COVID-19 Register for contact tracing purposes. It now contains mandatory screening questions regarding possible exposure to COVID-19.
  2. Trip leaders will have a current first aid certificate and have completed an online Government COVID-19 training module.
  3. As well as the VCC Safety Guidelines, participants will also be required to read the VCC COVID-19 Advice to participants on club trips (published below) at the VCC Trip Register Sign-in at the start of the trip or activity.
  4. The usual VCC car-pooling spreadsheet not be used to facilitate car-pooling on club trips. Individuals can decide to undertake their own risk assessment and make their own choices regarding travelling independently.

Finally, the VCC COVID-19 Plan and the VCC Advice to Participants on Club Trips, Courses and Activities (published below) may need to change at short notice depending on Government and DHHS advice. At all times trip participants are required to follow the current Government and DHHS advice regarding the wearing of facemasks and physical distancing.

If you have any questions regarding our COVID-19 Safety Plan, please contact Michael O’Reilly, the VCC Trip Co-ordinator.

VCC Advice to Participants on Club Trips, Courses and Activities

Before you sign this VCC Trip and COVID-19 Register, we would like you to read and understand the following safety advice regarding COVID-19:

  • At all times participants be encouraged to maintain a distance of 1.5m between themselves and others where possible and safe to do so. Physical distancing is the best way to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
  • As a minimum, masks should be worn in accordance with the latest Victorian DHHS advice. This advice can be found here:  Face masks | Coronavirus Victoria
  • Wash or sanitise your hands before and after each climb. Participants are asked to bring along enough sanitiser for their own use.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Covering a sneeze or cough with an elbow or a tissue rather than hands.
  • On club trips and Learn2Lead Courses, participants should climb in fixed pairings for the duration of the trip. (Or a total of three people in some cases). The mixing up of groups of climbers needs to be avoided.
  • Equipment including harnesses, helmets, shoes, chalk bags, drink bottles and other personal items should not be shared among participants.  Climbing racks and ropes should not be shared among different climbing parties. On Learn2Lead Courses communal gear (racks, ropes etc) will be kept to one group (ie one lead team) and then cleaned, disinfected or isolated before use by another group.
  • On Learn2Lead Courses the pairs of participants would operate together with their own set of gear to limit potential cross infection.
  • If spare helmets are needed to be borrowed by a participant for the trip, these need to be disinfected using alcohol based hand sanitiser or wipes (concentration > 60% alcohol) before and after use. If there are soft materials, for example on chin straps, then these cannot be used by different people on the same trip. These helmets need to be placed in isolation for 72 hours before another person can use them.
  • Climbing pairs should always tie into the same end of the rope and use the same rack.
  • Lead climbers, both in trad and in sport climbing, should not place the rope in their mouth during the clipping process.
  • Lead climbers and seconds should not place pieces of gear in their mouth.
  • Participants are encouraged to download and use the COVIDSafe App on their mobile.
  • If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst on the trip, please isolate yourself from other participants as soon as safely possible and let the trip leader know as soon as practicable. You will need to remain isolated and return home as soon as practicable.
  • Participants are encouraged to use a base layer of liquid chalk at the start of each climb, but loose chalk may be used on the route. This will minimise the use of loose chalk which is considered a broader issue outdoors. Chalk bags are not to be shared amongst participants.
  • On overnight camping trips, participants are reminded to maintain the 1.5m physical distancing and not share camping or cooking equipment.

For further information:

Department of Health and Human Services