Bridge for Pleasure
Latest Updates

Latest New Normal Meeting Recording

February 2024


Next New Normal Meeting

Friday 15th March



2024 01 14 New Normal News January 2024.pdf


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Recent Updates
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Online is here to stay.

Face to face has returned and needs your support.

Regulations and Guidance
EBU Club Insurance

The EBU has produced a statement from the insurance company whose insurance it promotes to clubs.


Changes to Covid Security management
The good news is the rate of vaccination, and the growing evidence that it reduces, but not eliminates, the chance of the virus making the recipient seriously ill or worse.Rugby Village has updated its risk assessment to stipulate that players must have had at least one vaccine dose at least 21 days before coming to a face to face session.

There is new emphasis on transmission through airborne droplets. Venues have always needed to be well ventilated. We have been able to open doors and get a good draft through one arm of our L shaped room. However, we have requested an extractor fan in the ceiling of the other arm. Don't let those droplets hang about. Rugby Village Risk Assessment Version 4 is available at:

RVBC 2021 03 10 Risk Assessment Version 4.pdf

Local Numbers
You can keep an eye on your local numbers in several different ways. My first choice is the Zoe app. I am one of 4.6m people who report every day. One of the benefits is I can do a quickly daily check on the number of cases in my local area. The report has remained almost exactly the same in format since I signed up. I have confidence that it is not politically influenced. Second choice is the BBC. However they do regularly change what they update, how they present it and how regularly it's updated. Thirdly there is the government web site area. Full of data, but not so much emphasis on consistent presentation. My local council is posting case numbers everyday on Facebook, but there have been one or two strange "lurches" in the numbers, apparently due to changing how/where students are counted. Anyway, our local numbers are plateauing at the level they were when we locked down in November. I hope to see them reducing substantially by May 17th, but so much will depend on the effect of cases by schools reopening.
The Road Map

The Road Map gives a step by step model for a post Covid world with some provisional, "no earlier than", dates attached.

There's a 60 page document with a thorough and readable description of the background and thinking behind the plan at:

A document with a little more detail of interest to our community was published a day or two later:

Step Changes
Step Changes
Step 1A, the reopening of schools, took place on Monday 8th March. Immediate effect: a student on my beginners course was late joining the Zoom meeting "held up by school traffic"! The road map says that it will take four weeks for the effect of this to show up in statistics and fifth week to decide whether or not to postpone Step 2.

Step 1B opens up the possibility of socially distanced outdoor activities. Several of my learners and players are visibly longing to get back on the golf course. There wont be time to measure the effect before 12th April, but outdoor activity is generally thought to be pretty safe.

Step 2, no earlier than 12th April, always subject to social distancing, non essential shops, hairdressers, many indoor leisure businesses, e.g. commercial gyms, can open. Community Halls can reopen but only for limited activities, apparently NOT including bridge clubs. he road map says that it will take four weeks for the effect of this to show up in statistics and fifth week to decide whether or not to postpone Step 3.

Step 3, no earlier than 17th May, subject to social distancing, more activities, probably including bridge clubs are permitted in community halls.  My assessment is that we could reopen our Bridge Club and play as we were from July to October last year with strict Covid security measures.

Step 4, no earlier than 21st June, government "hopes" to reopen other settings such as night clubs. Also government plans to review Covid related restrictions on businesses, possibly allowing bridge to operate more as it did in pre-covid days.

Please always check the latest documents, and maybe take advice, before you make any decisions. In the past this sort of rules/guidance has changed rapidly and probably will again. It has often not been clear enough for everyone to be sure, and agreed, on what it means.
6th March 2021 Update

There is likely to be more focus on ventilation with more scientific evidence of transmission by air droplets.

New document on ventilation with links to further documents on ventilation.


1st March 2021 Update

Two documents have been issued:

1 The overall plan for reopening. Big overview of pandemix situaion. Detail is scarce but Community Halls can open no earlier than April 12th

2 Document on reopening with more details, Community Hall events highly restricted until no earlier than May 17th

Regulations and Guidance

Since the beginning of the pandemic the Government has issued or updated anything from one to twenty-five documents each day. You can sign up to be on a mailing list that receives lists of the notices each day. The signup option is near to the bottom of the page at:

The information includes:

Spread of the virus, availability of PPE, testing and vaccines

There's lots of data including some local numbers. Some of it is presented graphically. Other sources of similar information include the BBC, the Zoe app and various twitter and FaceBook accounts. (Do find the Zoe app and join the 4.5 million people contributing data.)

For Businesses.
Who can open, who can't. Safety at work. Details on furloughs, various grants and loans for business.

Social and General Activity Regulation
The latest on domestic socialising (at present none); travel, transport, workplaces that cannot open; regulations and guidance for those that can.

In Particular, Sport and Leisure

At present, Febraury 2021, there is little activity in this category. It's where documents will be adjusted when activities like ours begin to open up. One's to watch include:

29 sports and leisure bodies have agreed protocols for the return of their sport.

UK Government Corona Regulations and Guidance

Government Guidance has evolved with the situation.

You can subscribe to the governments daily emails listing the new and amended “guidance and support”. A large collection of documents, going into every aspect of normal life, and many abnormal corners, sometimes ambiguous and contradictory, is issued every day. You can generally spot the items applicable to playing bridge and click on them to see the latest versions.

Recommendations to watch:

Our venue is a community hall run by a private charitable trust. They had support from their trade body, ACRE. The ACRE Information sheet supported a safe reopening.

Government Corona Guidance Sept 2020

In August and early September there has been a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. Overall case levels remain low. Hospitalisations have continued to fall. Death rates are low.

The government has issued new rules making it clear that no more than six people can gather in social/domestic situations.

Since July bridge has been conducted under the different guidelines for community facilities:

The updated version bans all events for more than 30 people however it clearly states:

"Community facilities following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total,"

On the 10th Sept the EBU posted the following on its home page, and sent an email to all clubs containing the following:

"The government has just announced that starting on Monday 14th September, social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal in England. Although there will be some exceptions to this, none seem to cover the situation of any bridge clubs.

This removes any doubt there may have been in our earlier advice to clubs about whether clubs can run any face-to-face games, and makes clear that this will not be possible until such time as further changes or clarifications to the rules may be announced."

This information is wrong. Any club that has made the decision to cancel an event on the basis of this wrong information should claim their lost revenue back from the EBU.

Of course most clubs are not open, and many may never open again, but it is legal to be open at present providing the COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed.