FIDE continues to closely monitor the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which was first reported in Hubei, China on December 31, 2019.
In view of the danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, FIDE, through its Medical Commission, has developed a medical security policy and protocol which is aimed at minimizing chances of transmission of the Novel Coronavirus in the future over-the-board chess events during 2020 and beyond. Going forward, FIDE will continue to monitor the Covid-19 pandemic and respond accordingly.
The following measures shall be put in place at upcoming over-the-board chess events, to prevent the possible spread of the Novel Coronavirus and protect the participants against infection:
Organizers, players, arbiters, and other officials should comply with their respective national legislation on COVID-19 crisis management of the country in which the chess event takes place.
- In view of the still ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in several parts of the world, it is recommended to restart chess activities at Regional Level with small scale events with limited participants.
- This shall make it easier to manage the risk of transmission of the Novel Coronavirus and allow for larger events to be held in the future as the risk of transmission continues to go down with the diminishing pandemic.
- Playing halls shall not be overcrowded and there shall be sufficient physical separation (social distancing) between people (at least 1 meter). Tables shall also be at least 1 meter apart.
- This shall minimize the chances of possible transmission of the COVID-19 virus between participants.
- There shall be No (preferably) or very few spectators allowed in the playing halls. Players shall leave the playing hall by the end of their game.
- This is meant to minimize the risk of transmission of the Novel Coronavirus by minimizing the number of people in close proximity with each other in the playing venue.
- All Chess sets (boards, pieces, and clocks), tables, and chairs shall be cleaned (with clean water and soap or sanitizer or disinfectant) beforehand and after each round.
- Studies have shown that the Novel Coronavirus can survive on surfaces for many hours. Cleaning the chess sets, tables and chairs shall minimize the possible transmission of the Novel Coronavirus
- There shall be easy access to facilities for participants to wash hands with clean running water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Upon entering and exiting the playing hall and during the breaks, participants must wash or disinfect their hands.
- Participants shall frequently wash their hands with clean running water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers in order to reduce the chances of infection with the Novel Coronavirus.
- All players, arbiters and officials shall wear masks.
- Participants must use masks to avoid the possible spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
- It should be noted that masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
- Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask).
- The playing halls shall have a proper and well-functioning ventilation and air circulation with fresh air intake. It is not recommended any tournaments in rooms without proper ventilation. Outdoor chess activities are recommended.
- This measure will ensure that the air in the playing halls is fresh and that the playing halls have rapidly circulating air at all times to minimize the risk of transmission of the Novel Coronavirus.
- During coffee/lunch breaks and communal meals, special measures shall be put in place to minimize overcrowding and to avoid too much close personal contact between participants.
- This shall also minimize the likelihood of the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
- In the toilet facilities, adequate cleaning and disinfection of the premises and constant ventilation must be ensured. Participants should move in such a way that a distance of at least 1 meter is observed at all times.
- It is recommended that players sign a declaration about the absence of respiratory signs. In the declaration, the player should also declare that he/she is aware of the possible risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus during the chess event but they are willing to participate nonetheless.
In addition to the above measures, events participants (players/officials/press/spectators) are encouraged to practice the following personal protection behaviors in order to protect themselves and others from infection with the Novel Coronavirus.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
- Wash your hands frequently
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.
- Practice respiratory hygiene
When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.
- Maintain social (physical) distancing
Maintain at least 1metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing, and have a fever.
Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease like 2019-nCoV, coughs, or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.
- Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses on the cheek and other close personal contacts with fellow players/officials and other persons present
Why? Covid-19 is spread via coming into contact with infected droplets and the above actions can expose you to infection with COVID-19 if your close contact is infected.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces that can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.
- If you have fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Why? Whenever you have fever, cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, Covid-19 could be one of them.