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September '21 Newsletter

Carlton Bridge Club

September Newsletter

As we move slowly and a bit uncertainly towards some kind of new normal, I thought I should bring you up to date with the Board’s plans for the reopening of the Club.

We plan to start face to face bridge again on Monday 4 October, whilst maintaining a programme of online bridge as well. The Carlton does not have a large enough membership to run both types of bridge simultaneously. So the intention is to run tournaments as follows:

F2F                   Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons        Friday evening

Online             Tuesday and Friday mornings             Sunday evening.

Initially we will ask you to sign up for F2F tournaments, both for safety guidelines and to help us lay out the card room. You can enter as an individual or a pair on Wednesday afternoon, as before. For the other three F2F events you should sign up as a pair.

We will be implementing a number of safety measures, since we appreciate that members may still be wary about returning to F2F bridge. These are:

·         Tables will be well separated, with a maximum of eight in the main card room;

·         We are seeking professional advice on how to improve the ventilation system to
           minimise the risk of transmission of  Covid and other viruses;

·         You will carry your bidding box around with you if you are playing East/West;

·         Hand sanitising fluids and wipes will be available throughout the Club;

·         A deep clean will be carried out, in addition to establishing a regular cleaning
          routine, both using a commercial firm;

·         The Carlton will use card machines instead of cash. More on this below;

·         The cloakroom will not be used to avoid members being too close together;

·         Tea intervals will be staggered for the same reason;

·         Only North will touch the Bridgemates, showing it to East/West for confirmation;

·         Table numbers will be wall mounted, to avoid them being touched;

·         Various signs will be placed around the Club to remind us all.

Since current scientific data suggests transmission by touch is less likely, we have decided that playing cards will be handled as normal. We have considered measures so that cards are handled only once, but these have not proved workable.

Payment by card

Almost all outlets now demand payment by card. We have decided to adopt this method of payment for table money and for teas, coffee etc.

Each transaction costs money. A contactless debit card is the best method from a cost point of view, followed by a chip and pin debit card. If possible, please try to avoid using a credit card.

On entry you will pay your table money by card, probably in the card room. Andrew or the TD will be there to offer assistance if necessary. You will get a receipt which will be collected at the table at the start of the tournament, just as happened previously with table money.

Other issues

At the moment, we do not intend to give prizes for bridge, but will, of course, continue to issue master points.

The cost of online bridge will remain at $3.

F2F bridge will be free for the first two weeks, and thereafter cost £4. This increase is to take account of extra expense for extraction fans, more cleaning time and card payments.

Face masks will be worn when moving about the Club, but not necessarily when at the bridge table;

We will be asking for your views on these arrangements in the form of a survey. Please take the time to let us know what you think.

I know that online bridge has been a lifeline for many members. You will still have this facility. But we have a clubhouse and a manager and we need to begin to function in a F2F manner as soon as you feel able to return.

I look forward to meeting you again across the bridge table. Meantime stay safe and well.


Duncan Cursiter