Monday, 22 February 2021
Schools ... Outdoors ... Retail ... Pubs ... Chess?
ANYONE hoping for a quick return to over-the-board chess will have been disappointed, but probably not surprised, by Boris Johnson's speech in the Commons today.
The basic timetable is:
March 8 - schools reopen
March 29 - small outdoor gatherings allowed
April 12 - shops, gyms and beer gardens reopen
May 17 - pubs reopen with a rule-of-six
June 21 - all legal restrictions end, meaning nightclubs reopen and chess tournaments can be held
People hoping to play OTB chess before June 21 (and remember these dates could be put back) should probably look to Europe.
Many countries give official recognition to chess as either a sport or a cultural activity, which in practice should mean restrictions are lifted sooner.
One drawback with this scenario is that vaccinating the population is much more advanced here than on the Continent, so the lifting of restrictions in some European countries may be delayed.
And of course we have to await permission from the government to travel abroad again ...