Step 4 of HMG’s Spring Response plan started on July 19th with most legal requirements for social distancing and restrictions on social contact removed and replaced with guidance and recommendations.
As with previous stages of the pandemic it remains the case that clubs and organisers must continue to take responsibility for any events they put on, with suitable risk assessments, mitigation arrangements and precautions. This page summarises some of the key HMG guidance points and recommendations which are relevant for chess events and should be considered by clubs and organisers as we move into Step 4.
Relevant guidance for Step 4 can be found on the main HMG COVID-19 web pages here —
 Main page (including Business and Venues) – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do
 Events and attractions page – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions
 Guidance for sport providers – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-grassroots-sports-guidance-for-the-public-and-sport-providers
Some key points to note are as follows —
Event organisers should carry out a COVID risk assessment for their event/venue.
Communicate and train
Event organisers are expected to keep staff and visitors aware of the arrangements and safety measures
Entry control and pre-event checks
Those with symptoms should be turned away – also testing should be considered in advance of events .
The guidance in  also recommends that NHS COVID passes should be considered although do please note that this will require compliance with legal and equalities guidelines, with further guidance expected from HMG.
Provision of QR codes is advised for those with the NHS app as well as maintaining a register for those who don’t have the app. This is advised to support NHS track and trace.
Provide adequate ventilation
This remains an important precautionary measure. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. More guidance can be found here —
These are no longer required by law, but venues/ organisers are expected to encourage customers and visitors to wear face coverings if the event is likely to include enclosed and crowded spaces. It seems likely that this would also apply for indoor events with prolonged periods of contact.
Limiting close contacts
Whilst level of contact is now a matter of personal choice, the guidance in  recognises that many may wish to take a cautious approach as society opens up. Everyone should be considerate of this and provide the opportunity and space for players/ spectators to reduce close contacts as far as practical.
Clean more often
Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are touched a lot. See also section on managing your facility or event setting.
The ECF encourages all clubs and organisers to follow the guidance and recommendations including completion of a risk assessment and following HMG recommendation as a minimum, with any additional measures where these are appropriate based on the risk assessment.