Dee River Kayaking Corona Virus Policies
Outdoor recreation is good for people’s mental and physical health, and I believe if the correct procedures are put in place, it can be enjoyed safely. This set of procedures is designed to adhere as well as possible to government guidelines on Covid-19, and to be adaptable to the changes in these guidelines as they happen. I feel it is important for the health of the nation that we try to be active, keep getting outdoors, and to continue to live our best lives, but while the world is so uncertain and the danger is clear and present, we have to do everything we can to observe the rules on social distancing. I hope that if somebody has had a great day on the river, they are more likely to have the strength to do the difficult thing and say no to a higher risk invitation such as dinner with a group of friends, and this is part of my rationale for wanting to be open for business..
The following measures will be effective on all Dee River Paddling sessions.
Hygiene: A facility for hand washing will be available on all sessions. Equipment used will be virus free. This will be achieved by ensuring equipment has had 2 days between uses as often as possible. Where this is not possible, equipment will be cleaned and sterilised before being given to a new owner. There will be no sharing of equipment once it has been assigned an owner.
Social Distancing: Sessions will take place entirely in the open air. Changing, briefing, and debriefing will all take place in the open air as well. We will endeavour to leave 2m (a paddle length) between all participants including staff at all times, except when an emergency situation calls for closer contact. Participant Self-Rescue will be prioritised as the format for capsize situations. This will be achieved by detailed instruction, use of low risk venues, and specialised assisted re-entry equipment. If first aid needs to be administered, both the first aider and the casualty will wear a mask and latex gloves. Maximum group sizes will be determined by the government rules of the day, as will the number of different household groups welcome on a session. To lessen any potential impact of our activities on virus transmission in the local area, we’d like to discourage any participants on Dee River Paddling sessions from extensive travel and overnight stay away from home.
Lessening potential health impacts: We must acknowledge that emergency and healthcare services will be stretched over the next few months. Whilst the sport of river kayaking has an assumption of risk at its heart, we need to do all we can to limit and control risk-taking behaviour in the course of our sessions by very conservative decision making and risk control measures.
Attendance: Please know that attendance on a kayaking session is something that you should consider only if you are healthy and not shielding. Anyone with symptoms such as a new cough and fever must stay home, and anyone who has been in close contact with someone with these symptoms should also stay home. If you have had the virus, ensure you have been symptom free for at least 7 days before considering joining a kayaking course. We are also very sad to say that for this period we will not be accepting bookings from people in high-risk groups: Over 70’s, pregnant women, those with a weakened immune system, and those with a long term health condition. Please read about Coronavirus symptoms and guidelines at NHS online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Cancellations: Through these tumultuous times it is expected that cancellations will be more common. Therefore we will be loosening our cancellation policy to allow people the confidence to book without fear of losing out. For this period, any bookings made for Dee River Paddling sessions can be cancelled and moved right up to the day of the booking without fear of losing deposits. We want to make sure that there is no reason for anybody to feel they have to attend if they or anyone close to them becomes ill. On the other side of this, if a member of staff or someone close to them becomes ill, sessions will cease until it is deemed safe to resume. Rest assured, if you book a session there are only 3 possible outcomes, do it, defer it, or have your money back.
Legal: Dee River Kayaking will make every effort to ensure that the risk of person to person transmission of infectious diseases is minimised in the course of activities. The measures we will put in place have been listed above. However, the risk of transmission of infectious diseases between participants is impossible to remove with 100% certainty in our activities, just as it is in daily life. Neither Dee River Kayaking nor its staff can accept any responsibility for a participant being infected with Covid-19, or any other illness, as a part of your activities.
Check out this video below to see one of the methods we have for ensuring we can keep a good distance even in the event on capsize.