A few clubs have asked us if they should be taking any special measures during the coronavirus outbreak. Since we are not medical specialists we suggest that clubs take advice from those who are. The World Health Organisation has issued guidance about it, primarily recommending:
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub;
- Practising respiratory hygiene, covering mouth and nose when sneezing and discarding tissues immediately into a closed bin, cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- Maintaining social distancing.
Clearly the last of these is the hardest in a bridge club, but many clubs have enough space to spread tables out so that people are not on top of each other.
Further advice is also available from the BBC, but it seems the first practical thing a bridge club might do is to purchase some alcohol-based hand rub and request that players use it, or at least wash their hands, on entry to the club. Avoiding making contact between players' hands and mouths prior to touching their cards is also obviously desirable.
One further suggestion that has been made, which clubs might like to adopt, is to ask moving pairs to take their bidding boxes with them around the room, to reduce the amount of second-hand contact through bidding cards.