How Safe Are Escape Rooms During The Pandemic?
2020 is thankfully on the way out, but Covid-19 isn't going away immediately, even with promising vaccines on the horizon.
Given the virus will likely be with us for a few months yet, we wanted to address a question we hear from time to time - how safe is it to visit an Escape Room during the pandemic?
We obviously can't speak for everywhere, but we know most Edinburgh escape room owners are closely following government guidance and have introduced exceptional measures to ensure their environment is as safe as possible.
At Escape The Past, we've been following government guidance very closely since first opening our doors in October, and as a result, have completely restructured our operating schedule, policies and procedures to ensure we're as Covid-Secure as possible so our visitors can escape with confidence!
What Government Guidance Says:
Escape Rooms have been permitted to remain open throughout much of the pandemic. In Scotland, even in Tier 3 areas escape rooms have been allowed to continue to welcome visitors with a number of mitigating measures in place. This is a reflection on how safe they can be provided all the correct measures are taken.
The Nature of Escape Rooms:
Escape rooms are indoor spaces and tactile environments, conditions where the virus can be more likely to spread.
However, there are also some factors inherent in the nature of Escape Rooms that make them safer that you might think:
1. Controlled, Highly Monitored Environment
Escape Rooms are public buildings with well ventilated spaces, continuously monitored by a Gamesmaster, part of whom's job is to ensure everyone is acting safely. They are there to ensure that hand sanitisation, social distancing and mask wearing are maintained, and would turn away anyone presenting with symptoms or group sizes that exceed government limits. At Escape The Past, we have just one Escape Room, monitored by a single member of staff who will maintain social distancing - potential contact is therefore limited.
2. Limited Footfall
Escape Rooms are privately booked venues, unlike cinemas or other indoor attractions open to the public. At Escape The Past, we only ever have one group on the premises at a time and have restricted our available booking slots to ensure we never have more than a handful of groups visiting on any given day. This also allows us extra time between groups for enhanced cleaning to further reduce the risk of transmission.
3. Controlled Group Sizes
When you visit an escape room you do so within a defined small group (or "bubble") and shouldn't come into contact with any other members of the public for the duration of your visit. Group sizes are currently limited in line with government restrictions to consist of no more than 6 people from a maximum of 2 households.
Other Covid-secure Measures:
In addition to the above, we're taking a number of specific measures:
- Health Screening - requiring that anyone with symptoms does not attend or they will be turned away
- Enhanced Cleaning - we have a rigorous cleaning regime that tackles all key surfaces between each group
- Hand Sanitisation - is required on entry and hand sanitiser is provided within the room at all times
- Face Masks - we insist that facemasks are worn by all attendees unless medically exempt
- Social Distancing - a 2m distance between staff and visitors will be maintained at all times
Check Refund Policies:
Before visiting an escape room we recommend reviewing the latest Government guidance for your area, and also checking out the Covid precautions that the escape room venue has in place. You can view ours here. It's also worth checking the refund policy to ensure you're covered if the situation changes. At Escape The Past, we've introduced our Covid-19 Guarantee - committing to reschedule or refund any group who can't attend their scheduled booking as a result of Coronavirus.
With all these measures in place, we believe that Escape The Past, and the majority of other escape room venues offer a safe environment. Social contact and 'escapism' have never been more important than they are right now, and provided all government advice is followed, and sensible precautions taken, escape rooms can be very safe.