Our Response: Coronavirus (Covid – 19)

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We’re Good To Go! 
We now have our Green Tick from Visit Britain’s Good to Go scheme.

What does this mean?
The We’re Good To Go industry standard and supporting mark mean businesses across all sectors of the tourism industry in Scotland can demonstrate that they’re adhering to the respective government and public health guidance, and have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment to check they have the required processes and protocols in place.

Scotland  has put in place a system of 5 Protection  Levels in response to the current COVID 19 Pandemic.   In Scotland these restrictions are NOT the same as the other 3 nations in the UK. 


THE CURRENT SITUATION IN SCOTLAND IN TERMS OF COVID-19:
 

As of 26th of December 2020, until further notice, the whole of mainland Scotland moved into Protection Level 4. This means only local travel is allowed within the different Scottish council areas. Furthermore, none essential travel out of and into Scotland from the rest of the UK, is not allowed. From the 15th of February this also means anyone travelling into Scotland from any country other than from the UK, have to quarantine  for 10 days in a designated hotel at their own cost. Travel restrictions also means that none essential travel is not allowed between the different Scottish council areas.  Formal outdoor none contact activities, such as mountain guiding, can only take place on a one to one basis. However, this can only take place if  you are local to our operation….mainly the Highlands area.  We expect these restrictions to be short term and once they have been removed it is our understanding that the following will come back into force:

  • Travel throughout Scotland will not generally be restricted unless moving in and out of one of the areas currently in a higher Protection Level 
  • Travel  into Scotland from the rest of the UK for leisure activities will not generally  be restricted but this will vary depending on which nation you will be travelling from. Please check your local situation before planning any travel. 
  • If travelling into Scotland from any country with an  agreed ‘air bridge’ by the Scottish Government,  you will not have  have to quarantine for 10 days. People coming from other countries will, for the time being, have to self quarantine on arrival for 10 days.
  • There are a number of localised restriction measures throughout Scotland based on 5 Protection Levels. To fully understand the current situation, and how this affects you and your plans, please see the Scottish Government Website
  • Physical distancing of at least 2 metres must be maintained, whenever possible,  even in outdoor situations.
  • For formally led organised outdoor  none contact activities, such as Single Day and Multi Day Wilderness Mountain Trekking, guidance means that we will be able to work with groups and single clients…with no restrictions on the number of households. This all has be done within COVID 19 procedures, protocols and risk assessments.
  • We continue to follow advice and guidance from the Scottish Government, Mountain Training Scotland, Mountaineering Scotland,  Police Scotland and Scottish Mountain Rescue.
  • Most car parks and public toilets, even in mountain areas, are now open…but shouldn’t be relied on.
  • Self catering and self contained accommodation for tourism will be available and wild camping will be permitted.
  • All Mountain Bothies will remain out of use although will stay unlocked for emergency situations.
  • Face coverings must be worn on all Public Transport, and is mandatory in all shops.
  • In Scotland, at present, most of this guidance is legally binding and may be enforced by the police with options of fines and arrest for none compliance.
  • Although the incidence rate of COVID-19 in the Highlands of Scotland remains one of the lowest in the UK, contracting the virus locally still remains a risk.
 

SO WHERE IS TREKSCOTLAND UP TO AT PRESENT?

  • All these measures mean that we will be able to offer Wilderness Mountain Trekking for Single and Multi Days, dependent on local restrictions and Protection Levels
  • For us this means group sizes will be back to ‘normal’ allowing our Trekking to operate as originally planned. For both our Single Day and Multiday Wilderness Mountain Treks we generally work on a ratio of one guide to six people.
  • In all cases, where possible, physical distancing, unless all from the same household, would have to be maintained throughout
  • We work on the premise that everyone, including ourselves, are asymptomatic and potential carriers and spreaders of COVID-19.
 

ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS BY TREKSCOTLAND IN RELATION TO COVID-19:

TREKSCOTLAND will ask our Clients to:

  • Carry a face covering/face mask on all our Treks which should be worn, when close contact is unavoidable, including at all times if travelling in our transport.
  • Carry an appropriate gel for cleaning hands [minimum of 60% alcohol]
  • Not attend any of our Treks if you are symptomatic, know you have been in contact with someone who is symptomatic, or have been asked to self isolate, including if having to quarantine on arrival because of travelling from a country which is on Scotland’s quarantine list.  If you have to cancel for any of these reasons you will get a full refund with our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Guarantee. 
  • Physically distance from all other clients, unless they are from the same household.

TREKSCOTLAND Guides will:

  • Physically distance from all clients when possible
  • Not guide a Trek if symptomatic, know that they have been on contact with someone who is symptomatic, or have been asked to self isolate
  • Carry and wear appropriate PPE for any emergency situations where close contact is unavoidable
  • Curtail/adapt the outing if someone becomes symptomatic during a Trek
  • Maintain high standards of hygiene at all times
  • Advise clients at all times about physical distancing and hygiene in relation to eating, drinking and toileting.
  • Work on the premise that all participants, including ourselves, are asymptomatic and potential carriers and spreaders of COVID-19

TREKSCOTLAND will: 

  • Have a designated and trained COVID-19 Officer who keeps up to date and oversees all operations in relation to the pandemic 
  • Retain contact details of all activity participants for a minimum of 21 days
  • Give you a full refund with our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Guarantee if you have to cancel because of a COVID-19 incident 
  • Clean and sanitise all gear appropriately and to a high standard between Treks.  This will include the use of hospital grade HOCL [Hypoclorous Acid] fogging,  UVC Ozone Germicidal lamps, and the quarantining of equipment for a minimum of 72 hours
  • On Multiday Wilderness Mountain Treks, provide each client with a new water filtration system such as a Water To Go Bottle
  • Keep the number of people who travel in our Transport to a minimum and adapt routes so they are generally circular, allowing people to use their own transport if they prefer or restrictions dictate. When travelling in our Transport we will provide masks, travel with windows open and have hand gel available. Our vehicle will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised between each journey.
  • Where appropriate, prepare all food for Treks to the highest standards of hygiene
  • Maintain our operation in a COVID-19 safe way in relation to ongoing Risk Assessments, Protocols and Health and Safety Policies.

Please be aware that TREKSCOTLAND accepts no liability if a client breaks physical distancing rules or if they think they have contracted COVID-19 on one of our Treks.