HM Government has strongly underlined the planned removal of remaining covid-19 restrictions on 19 July. The new ECA League Secretary, Tom Barton and the League Management Committee are tasked with kick-starting the Essex League. The recent ECA AGM voted to draw a line under the covid-affected 2019-20 League competition and projected a new competition for 2021-22.
Now is the time for all Essex Clubs to be taking steps to resume activities if they have not already done so, getting in touch with their members and their venue and planning their restart. As an example of what can be done, Wanstead & Woodford CC, since Roadmap out of Lockdown Step 3 has held a five round 2-boarded standard play competition and a 5-round single board Rapid. On 29 June, they played Round 1 of the 2020-21 Club Championship (35 entries), using the more spacious surroundings of the Boaden Hall at Wanstead House, but once more single board games. Our picture depicts Round 1 in progress, with face coverings and social distancing between groups of three boards – notice also the open doors for ventilation [Mark Murrell].
Wanstead has the distinct advantage of Wanstead House having been engineered as a covid-safe environment, but the Club’s Covid-19 Committee has proactively planned activities whenever lockown conditions have allowed the Club to meet. The links below to the Club’s website shows the arrangements which allow W&WCC to continue to meet over-the-board, together with the Risk Assessment undertaken and published. These examples may be taken as a blueprint for Essex chess clubs to get going again, when their venue allows.
Expect Tom Barton to be contacting your club shortly.