With COVID case numbers climbing faster than Kiromal Katibin, it was only a matter of time before South Africa tightened lockdown restrictions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Sunday 11 July confirmed that the country will remain on adjusted lockdown Level 4 . With sport climbing having been approved as a non-contact sport by the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, climbing gyms have been allowed to continue operating in a limited capacity so long as strict health and safety measures are observed.
Read on to find out what regulation changes and updates have been announced by your favourite indoor crags…
Both CityROCK Cape Town and CityROCK Johannesburg are open for members and day pass customers. Day pass customers have to book for all sessions, while members need only book for peak weekday evenings (5 – 8pm). Take note of the following important regulations:
- Operational hours from Monday to Thursday have changed to 11am – 8pm. Weekend and public holiday hours remain the same, 9am to 6pm.
- The upstairs fitness area is open for members and day pass customers. The yoga studio remains closed for the time being.
- Day pass kids under 13 need to book via email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Only adult sessions may be booked via the online system.
- Masks must be worn at all times, including during high-wall climbing.
- The mask-free coffee area will be closed until further notice and they will not be serving any food or drinks for on-site consumption. Take-away coffee and snacks will still be available.
As per usual, you may only use liquid chalk for high-wall climbing and bouldering. Powdered chalk may be used only when topping up on a high-wall climb. Mountain Mail Order and the gear shops will continue to operate as per usual.
Rock Valley Climbing will continue to operate, with the following important updates:
- Updated operational hours: Monday – Wednesday 2PM – 8PM, Thursday Closed, Friday 11AM – 6PM, Saturday 9AM – 4PM, closed on Sundays.
- Open to members only, with a booking system.
- Strict mask wearing and social distancing policy.
- Liquid chalk must be used the first time chalking up.
Friends and Allies is once again open from Monday to Friday (2pm till 8pm) and Saturday 9am till 6pm. A mask must be worn at all times, customers must sanitise hands regularly, and social distancing must be observed. Check out their online programmes and coaching plans.
The Climbing Barn will remain open with paid-up members having priority. Their fitness gym is closed.
Valley crag is open to members only, strictly only as a sporting facility. Their operating hours are listed as:
Monday – Friday (10am – 8:30pm)
Saturday (10am – 5:30pm)
Sunday (2:30pm – 5:30pm)
Public holidays* (10am – 5:30pm)
Bloc 11 Paarden Eiland and Bloc 11 South will continue to operate, with slightly adjusted operational hours of 9am – 8pm (Monday to Friday) and 9am – 7pm (Saturday & Sunday). They have also announced that:
- Masks are to be worn at all times in the facility.
- Yoga classes are up and running again.
- Amigo Mondays (members can bring a non-member for free) and Beginner Classes have returned.
- Venue capacity will be limited to 50% at any given time.
- No gatherings will be permitted in the facility – Bloc 11 is a sporting venue and training facility, and we should treat it as such.
Bloc 11 has asked that we continue to check their opening hours on Google in case of any further updates.
The Hang Time Belville branch will continue to operate, with the following important updates:
- New operational hours are:
- Mon-Thurs 14:00-20:30
- Fri 14:00-19:00
- Sat, Sun and Public Holidays 10:00-18:00
- Climbers are required to book for their sessions in advance via this link.
Southern Rock is erring on the side of caution and thus will be closed for climbing until at least 12 July 2021. Their retails store will remain operational, and staff will be on site and available to assist; their new shop hours are from 9am to 5pm.
Please contact the relevant gym / branch if you have any further questions – we will continue to update this article as new announcements and changes are made.
Climb safe, stay safe and take care of yourself!