At meetings on Saturday 7 March, the CBAI Governing Council and the IBU Emergency Committee decided, with regret, to postpone all national competitions scheduled for the months of March and April, as a prudent measure to avoid large gatherings and to protect the bridge playing population, which by its demographic is an at-risk group, against the threat of the Covid 19 virus (“coronavirus”).
Specifically, this means the postponement of the following scheduled competitions: IBU Burke and O’Connor Trophies (14/15 March), CBAI National Pairs Championships (Davidson, Laird, and Civil Service Trophies, 21/22 March), IBU Moylan Cup (4/5 April), CBAI National Confined Championships (JJ Murphy, Lambert, and Cooper Cups, 18/19 April), and CBAI National Teams Championships (Kelburne, Bankers, and Tierney Trophies, 25/26 April). The second scheduled weekend of the IBU Mixed Trials (28/29 March) and the IBU Seniors Congress (21/23 April) will go ahead, unless advised to the contrary.
Regions and clubs can decide for themselves what policy to adopt in relation to their own events, including congresses, which typically tend to be smaller in size than the national events. If a congress committee decides to postpone or cancel a congress, please let us know so that we may reflect this fact on our website.
The CBAI and IBU will review the situation at Easter, in light of developments on the coronavirus in the meantime, and will issue an update at that point. It is hoped to hold the postponed competitions over the summer, assuming (a) that the threat of the virus has been contained at that stage, and (b) that suitable venues can be found. Please be assured that this decision was not taken lightly; your delegates felt that, given the current guidance from the medical experts, the risk involved in holding large gatherings of card-players was simply too great.
We will also be writing to clubs in the coming days to advise them as to best practice to combat the threat of the coronavirus. All the essential information and guidance is set out on the HSE’s website. In particular, we would draw your attention to the advice to wash your hands properly and frequently, to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze, and to avoid making contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth if you hands are not clean. In addition, if you are concerned that you may have contracted the coronavirus, the protocol is that you should telephone your doctor, not call to them or to a hospital. In that case, you are also obviously advised not to attend gatherings such as bridge clubs.