Chairman's Update 22nd June

As I write, shops have been open for a week, after being told that for them, as long as they abide by the rules, lockdown is over. The government is considering the reduction of Social Distancing measurement from 2 metres to 1 metre, although it’s dubious that this will cover all circumstances.

Although those of us desperate to get back down to the pub would welcome this reduction (and hang the consequences) I don’t think it would be responsible for me on behalf of the EBU to grasp it (if it happens) and say that all’s well with the world. 1m, for us, is better than 2, but it doesn’t solve all the problems. I think the best thing to do is for the EBU to undertake a generic risk assessment and make it available to clubs when we have done so, once someone, somewhere has made up his mind whether we’re looking at 1m or 2. It should also contain some practical suggestions.

I did have one positive piece of news from my friend Nicky Bainbridge, of Rugby Village Bridge Club. She has managed to source plastic screens locally at £55 + VAT, rather less than the supermarkets are forking out – if you’re thinking of going down that route, it pays to research local companies, clearly.

Plans for an on-line Summer Meeting are almost finalised, and will be announced on the website soon. There’ll be something for everyone, and you’ll almost be able to smell the sea air. You’ll have to provide your own fish suppers, ice creams and kiss-me-quick hats (can you still get those?), of course, and I believe that my suggestion of sticks of rock with “EBU Summer Meeting” running through them was only dismissed for practical reasons, not because everyone thought it was idiotic. Maybe next year, in real life.

This is a short update because I think we’ve all reached that stage where we’ve got a bit of isolation fatigue (and I’ve certainly got Zoom fatigue). We seem to be in a lull, the worst may be over, but there may be a further storm to come (either a second spike or an attempt to return to normality – each would throw up challenges). The EBU Board meets every week, smaller groups equally frequently. We deal with two issues: what are we going to do now, and what is our future, post-COVID-19 strategy? The world will have changed, and although no-one can predict what will happen, we have to do our best to be ready for that change. I’d like to thank my colleagues on the Board and the EBU staff for their support and hard work thus far. I don’t know where we’d be without them.

Ian Payn