Climbing halls are shut across much of Europe because of the pandemic ©Getty Images

Varied guidance for the climbing community during the COVID-19 pandemic has been provided in a recent online meeting held by the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA).

A taskforce established by the UIAA to guide it through the global health crisis looked at the latest Government guidelines in a number of countries.

Discussions centred on the subject of vaccination rollouts, the impact of third waves in certain countries and recommendations to the UIAA Management Committee regarding the staging of in-person meetings later this year including October's General Assembly.

"Across the world and UIAA membership, the situation is very different ranging from a gradual easing of phased lockdowns in some areas to a return to full lockdowns and curfews in others," a UIAA release said.

"With this in mind it is difficult for the UIAA to provide general global advice other than reminding climbers and mountain visitors to respect the rules and regulations published in their specific countries and regions."

No indoor climbing halls are open in Belgium.

No foreign mountaineers are expected in the Himalayas this season ©Getty Images
No foreign mountaineers are expected in the Himalayas this season ©Getty Images

In Germany, restrictions with regard to mountaineering and skiing are "severe" although some ski mountaineering is permitted.

All climbing gyms are closed and will not reopen until at least before the end of April.

In India, climbing and hiking is allowed and indoor gyms are open in many cases but subject to mandatory COVID-19 regulations.

India reported more than 168,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and there are fears the country is heading for a health catastrophe. 

The climbing season in the Himalayas is starting with restrictions in place. 

No foreign mountaineers are expected.

In Switzerland, although outdoor sports activities without body contact are allowed, climbing halls are closed to those over 20.

In the United Kingdom, outdoor sport including climbing and walking has been allowed since March 8.

Indoor walls are expected to re-open later in April.