Covid-19: HM Government 12th October Guidelines for Supervised Activities Provided for Children

The following section from HM Government’s 12th October announcement ‘Local COVID alert level: medium’ – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-medium – has been brought to our attention. The relevant wording is highlighted in red. The ‘Local COVID alert level: high’ and ‘Local COVID alert level: very high’ announcements include the same wording.

There are exceptions where people from different households can gather in groups larger than 6 people. These include:

  • in a legally permitted support bubble
  • for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes)
  • for registered childcare, education or training
  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
  • for birth partners
  • to see someone who is dying
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable
  • to facilitate a house move
  • for a wedding or equivalent ceremony and wedding receptions, where the organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus – up to a maximum of 15 people
  • for a funeral, up to a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people present
  • for elite sportspeople and their coaches if necessary for competition and training, as well as parents or guardians if they are a child
  • for outdoor exercise and dance classes, organised outdoor sport and licensed outdoor physical activity
  • support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support
  • protests, if organised in compliance with COVID-secure guidance

This would seem to suggest that organised junior chess, such as junior tournaments or meetings of junior chess clubs supervised by adults, may fall within this exception – although no doubt appropriate precautions such as social distancing, risk assessments etc would still be required.

As before, the ECF cannot offer specific advice, and organisers need to make their own decisions in the light of the information above. We again recommend that organisers keep a close eye on further HM Government announcements and also liaise closely with their venues. We will update the information above as and when the situation changes. Completing full risk assessments remains as important as ever; the ECF’s risk assessment document can be found here – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/OTB-Chess-Risk-Assessment-v4.pdf