Coronavirus Travel Restrictions - Updated 18th December 2020

The below information comes from Mountain Training Scotland who are acting as the conduit between SportScotland (ScotGov) and the professional mountaineering community during COVID-19. Please note that this information is for those attending courses and not for those taking part in non organised recreational activities, for information on this please head over to the Mountaineering Scotland page.

You can only travel to the highlands if you are currently living in a Level 0, 1 or 2 area with in Scotland. There are some exceptions to this and they are listed below:

  • To attend a Winter Mountain Leader Training Course
  • To prepare for a Winter Mountain Leader Assessment (As long as you have an assessment booked for the Winter 2021 Season)
  • To attend a Winter Mountain Leader Assessment
  • To take part in compulsory CPD that is needed for your job
  • To work

If you fall under any of the above we would please ask you to consider the note below on considerate travel

If you are traveling as an exception (i.e. for one of the above reasons) then it is advised that you carry some proof to validate your journey. We recommend that you carry a copy of your booking form and a copy of the latest guidance produced by Mountain Training Scotland that can be found here. Also if you are a member of an association it would be worth carry your membership card.

Skills Courses

The above means we can only currently take bookings for skills course from those that live in a Scottish Tier 0, 1 or 2 area. As and when this information changes we will update this page, we are waiting to hear how travel from England, Wales and Northen Ireland and their tier system will work.

If you need to check which tier you are in for Scotland you can check here

Considerate Travel

No mater what area you are traveling from we would ask you to be considerate about the Highlands this winter, which has always had a relatively low infection rate, by considering the following:

  • Try to find accommodation that does not bring you into contact with lots of other people
  • Consider doing a big food shop before coming up if you have self catered accommodation
  • Reduce the amount of time/if any you spend in public places
  • Please stick to Scottish Government guideline of FACTS.

COVID-19 Cancellations

We are offering a full refund to all bookings that have to be cancelled due to COVID-19. All we ask is that you provide some proof that the cancellation is due to COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) specific information

Coronavirus is a threat to us all, no matter where we go or what we do. However, SAGE evidence suggests that outdoor activities may present a lower risk of virus transmission. Scotch on the Rocks Guiding will base its activities on the following principals:

Lawful – SOTRG will stay within the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government, as well as being guided by Mountain Training Scotland when it comes to Lowland Leader, Indoor Climbing Assistant, Summer and Winter Mountain Leader courses as well as the Hill and Mountain Skills courses.

Safety – We will only deliver courses when we feel we can manage and mitigate the risks to a reasonable level that are present both in the mountains, at the crags and from COVID19. This will be driven from the latest advice from the Scottish Government, Mountain Training Scotland as well as our own access to medical professionals. 

Quality – Whilst there is no doubt that instruction, guiding and coaching will have to change in the way it is delivered, we will not deliver any courses until we are happy, we can maintain the same high quality delivery we have become respected for. 

Social Responsibility – There are many other cogs needed for a course to run; travel, accommodation, retail etc. We will not run courses until we are happy that they will not have a detrimental effect on the local community and environment. 

Clarity – All of the above will be explained and made clear to all our clients on a course by course basis.

We will ensure we meet the requirements of our Insurers and follow advice from our Professional Association: The Association of Mountaineering Instructors.

Activities will require a pragmatic and mutually agreed approach between clients and instructors. Some objectives may not be feasible. The dynamic nature of being in the mountains means that there may be occasions when ideal Covid Secure practice (in, for example, physical distancing) cannot be maintained e.g. to deal with an immediate safety concern that takes priority.

Clients are asked to agree to the below:

  1. To follow relevant home nation Government guidance on Coronavirus, specifically that you will not travel to nor attend guiding/instruction if you should be self-isolating according to national guidelines. Guidance on the specific symptoms and self-isolation measures are clearly available on the Scottish Government (https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-test-and-protect/) website. 
  2. To be asked to answer the following questions with the word ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ immediately prior to your course:

Now, or at any time in the last 14 days:

  • Do you have/have you had a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)?
  • Do you have a/have you had a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)?
  • Do you have or have you had a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal?
  • Are any of your household symptomatic of COVID 19 or have any of them been?
  • Are any of your household self-isolating or have any of them been?
  • To the best of your knowledge have you been in close contact with anyone else who is symptomatic of COVID 19?

If any of the above are answered YES, then you cannot attend the course

3. To answer the following:

  • Do you accept that your participation in the booked activity may increase your risk of exposure to infection with the virus relative to no-participation?
  • Do you agree to inform your Instructor should you develop any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 any time within 14 days of the end of the activity? The Instructor undertakes to do the same.
  • Please confirm that you will bring:
    • A small bottle of hand sanitiser (enough to be used for the duration of the course)
    • A face mask or covering with you in case it is required.
    • Appropriate clothing and equipment for the activity (more information on this can be found on our client resource page)
    • Drink, lunch, snacks.
    • Sunglasses and sun cream, midge repellent (as appropriate)
    • A small personal first aid kit (plasters, painkillers, medication, nitrile gloves)
    • If you have any technical equipment of you own, please bring it (if appropriate for the course)

If we are forced to cancel your activity at short notice for Coronavirus related reasons, please refer to our booking conditions.

SOTRG will provide more detailed information on the mitigation steps they will take to prevent cross contamination in relation to COVID19, these will be e-mailed to you on booking the course.