The news about coronavirus has changed rapidly and dramatically in the past 72 hours. Under the circumstances, I think it best to POSTPONE Saturday’s training day AND RE-SCHEDULE WHEN FEASIBLE after the epidemic of coronavirus is over. I understand this might be several months away.

I have received several suggestions that we should postpone. I am also beginning to receive enquiries from people anxious to know whether the training day will go ahead. Others have withdrawn from the day, anxious for their own welfare or that of a family member.

The conversations and correspondence I have had with members of the Education & Training Group suggest a general mood of prudence which is shared within other social and interest-groups.

Instead of banning events in the same broad category as our own, the government is encouraging responsible individual discretion and awareness of the simple hygiene measures which have been widely publicised, It is relying on our general willingness to contribute actions of our own which will help to delay the spread of infection and smooth out its peak.

Safe, hygienic practice will be difficult in the crowded environment of a well-attended training event. With hand-sanitiser scarcely obtainable, it will not be feasible to prevent cross-contamination from ropes handed frequently from one individual to another and hand-washing facilities will not be available in all the towers we plan to use. It will not be feasible to decontaminate tail ends and sallies.

I am sure that postponement will be disappointing and I am sorry fot it. I am grateful for the commitment, enthusiasm and practical assistance which you and other members of LACR have given to the training day.

Nick Harrop