Masks, Tests, and Space, as UKGE Update Their #PlayWithConfidence Pledge

13 July 2021
Perhaps listening to community concerns, new measures are confirmed.

UK Lockdown as a result of COVID-19 is due to come to an almost-end on 19th July 2021, before the 30th July 2021 date that UK Games Expo is scheduled to occur. As a result, the previous announcement by UKGE when it came to safety instructions, were that it would follow the government guidelines, and seemingly not seek to enforce any of the previous requirements in regards to masks or testing. This appeared to lead to a number of publishers choosing not to attend, who declined due to safety concerns. 

Yesterday evening this was updated, including information previously provided about the venue, but also requiring masks be worn by all who are not exempt, and that all take a home lateral flow test before attending, to present an NHS Covid Pass as evidence. This is for all attendees over the age of 12, with those over 16 required to provide the Covid Pass, and those under requiring evidence of a negative lateral flow test. Those who have been double vaccinated can obtain this pass.

This seemingly returns to be in line with the original #PlayWithConfidence pledge set out by UKGE when it was unclear when restrictions would lift. 

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In addition, it confirmed the following:

  • "We will maintain 4m wide aisles in all halls. (33% wider than normal to allow social distancing )
  • Open gaming tables have additional spacing to allow social distancing when sat down. (Around 2m between tables).
  • Likewise tournament tables have been spaced out to allow social distancing between games.
  • NEC has newly upgraded hospital level ventilation.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers are available in the halls. We recommend you bring your own supply as well.
  • In order to reduce queues and waiting time to get in, we have added a whole additional 8000 sqm hall just for ticketing. This will mean we can safely process visitors and get you your tickets as speedily as possible.
  • 'In' and 'out' channels will be sign posted at Hall entrances.
  • Increased cleaning of public areas within the NEC including toilets and frequently touched points around the venue.
  • The NEC has outdoor space around the Lakeside area and we recommend its use.
  • We will not be running the Bring and Buy this year as we recognise that is a crowded environment.
  • We are monitoring attendance carefully. Projected attendance is around 50% normal."

These measures are in line with GenCon, who have also announced a mask policy for the unvaccinated – though it does believe that 90% of its attendees expect to be fully vaccinated by the time of the event. 



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