On 23rd November Boris Johnson announced the UK government’s COVID Winter Plan ahead of England’s second national lockdown coming to an end. As of 2nd December, the national lockdown has been replaced by a return to the three-tier system, with the rule of six operating as it did previously, albeit with a further restriction preventing people in Tier 2 (or above) from meeting socially with anyone they don’t live with in an indoor setting, unless they are in the same support bubble – see Local restriction tiers: what you need to know. Further clarification which is pertinent to chess is that, for Tier 2 —
Other activities, such as hobby groups, organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided that different households or support bubbles do not mix. Where it is likely that groups will mix, these activities should not go ahead.
The ECF is continuing to run a regular schedule of online competitions and events to support chess in England over the period of the pandemic, and given the lack of OTB chess at any scale. We are also looking closely at guidance from HMG and the Sports and Recreation Alliance, with a view to promoting safe return to play protocols, event formats and best practices as the guidance develops with changing circumstances.