Joining CAT short courses - COVID-19 measuresWhen will your on-site short courses be starting again, and what will be the key changes?
Our short courses programme started again on 5 September 2020, with Compost Toilets.
Key measures to support everyone’s safety and wellbeing include single occupancy bedrooms, reduced occupancy teaching and eating spaces, and one-way entries and exits where possible. We’ve also increased the frequency of cleaning shared spaces.
We will need your help in protecting other participants, staff and the local community while you’re with us at CAT. This includes following Welsh Government guidelines, respecting 2m distancing rules, wearing face coverings when indoors (with a few exceptions), and regularly washing your hands.
If you have been shielding due to being in a vulnerable category for COVID-19, please inform us of this when booking.
You’ll find more information on these measures in the FAQs below.
Unfortunately our earth oven building course involves too much close contact and has had to be cancelled.
All other courses are being adapted to allow for social distancing.
Accommodation is single occupancy only (see accommodation FAQ), and the cafe serves food in specified locations, with staggered meal and break times for larger groups (see cafe FAQ).
Teaching spaces are number limited, with changes to timetables to support this.
Where possible we have separate entry and exit routes to help to reduce crossover of participants. These are clearly marked.
All indoor teaching, cafe and accommodation spaces are well ventilated, and we are making the most of our outdoor teaching and eating spaces, including adding additional covered spaces as needed.
We ask all participants to please be patient with others and follow the 2m social distancing rule at all times whilst on site.
We believe in learning through doing, and practical sessions are an important part of many of our short courses.
We aim to keep the practical activities as interactive as possible whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing of participants and staff.
We have put in place measures to support 2m distancing during indoor and outdoor sessions. This means adapting some practical activities.
Teaching spaces are thoroughly cleaned prior to each course and during breaks.
Communal toilets, spaces and touch points are cleaned regularly during the day.
Hand sanitising stations are also available around the CAT site.
We ask everyone to help protect themselves and others through regular handwashing.
When indoors at CAT all customer-facing staff and course participants are required to wear face coverings or masks – please ensure that you bring a suitable face covering with you.
The exceptions to this rule are:
- When alone in a room or bedroom;
- Eating and drinking in the café – people will be seated at a suitable distance from one another (when in the café but not eating or drinking masks must be worn);
- Staff delivering presentations – presenters will be at a greater than 2m distance;
- Where individuals have medical exemption.
When outdoors, face coverings are optional, unless you are engaged in a teaching activity in which the risk assessment dictates that you wear face coverings or PPE for safe working. Your tutor will advise you of these situations in advance of the activity.
We have opened up our WISE bedrooms, which all have en-suite toilets and showers, but we are operating these as single occupancy only rather than the usual shared rooms.
This means we have a reduced amount of accommodation available.
Through working with providers in the local area we have access to additional single occupancy bedrooms at Plas Talgarth near Machynlleth, and some course participants will be given accommodation there.
Plas Talgarth accommodation will be charged at the same rate as CAT accommodation.
If needed, you will be bussed between Plas Talgarth and CAT. There will be no additional charge for transport.
Further details will be available on booking.
Please get in touch if you would like to join a short course and don’t need to use CAT’s accommodation.
Because we need to carefully plan seating for socially distanced meals, short course participants staying elsewhere will still need to join us at CAT for breakfast, lunch and dinner, at a charge of £21 per day.
If you need to cancel due to COVID you’ll be able to transfer credit to a future course.
For cancellation for other reasons, our standard Terms and Conditions will apply.
If you are travelling from outside Wales but from within the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands), please note that Welsh Government guidelines may be different from those in your area. Please check the latest guidelines before planning your travel.
If you are travelling from outside the Common Travel Area, please note that additional restrictions may apply, or may be introduced during your stay. You may need to quarantine before coming to CAT. Please check the latest FCO foreign travel advice as well as Welsh Government guidelines before planning your travel.
If you are travelling by car, then it is recommended that you travel as an individual to maintain social distancing. We have adequate parking for you on site.
If you plan to travel by train or bus, please refer to the most recent Welsh Government guidelines on using public transport before planning your trip as restrictions may be in place at the time of travel.
We’re only three miles from Machynlleth, with a Sustrans cycle route linking us to the town. The route is around 45-60 minutes on foot or 20-30 minutes by bike through the beautiful Mid Wales countryside, including a short section that crosses grazing lands.
Should a short course participant fall ill whilst here we would ask that arrangements are made to return home safely, avoiding public transport, and to enter self-isolation.
Whilst arrangements are made the guest will be asked to remain isolated in their room, with food and other essentials being delivered to them safely.
The room will remain unused for a minimum of 72 hours and then deep cleaned.
Supporting the principle of ‘test and trace’, should a guest fall ill within a week of being on site, we ask you to contact us so that we can contact anyone who was on site at the same time, so that they can follow government guidelines on self-isolation and testing.
Please note that in these circumstances we will not divulge any names or details of individuals in our communications with course participants.
All course participants, whether staying at CAT, Plas Talgarth or elsewhere, receive food through CAT catering. This enables CAT to operate the café using social distancing rules.
CAT provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and teas and coffees, with costs included in your accommodation costs.
If numbers are such that we can’t maintain physical distancing in the dining area, participants are split into groups with staggered meal times at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Catering staff and volunteers wear masks and aprons when preparing or serving food. Food is served at specified locations within the café area.
If you have any food allergies please notify us in advance, so we can make arrangements for you.
We are monitoring the situation daily, and all of the information on this page is subject to change based on government guidelines.
If Welsh Government guidance changes due to a worsening COVID environment, we may have to cancel courses. In these circumstances we will refund your course fees.
We have made some changes to how our visitor centre operates. See our visitor centre pages for details.
During lockdown we developed a popular new online version of our Zero Carbon Britain course. We plan to continue offering this course, with dates in September, October and November.