Masks will be mandatory for visitors to this year’s Essen Spiel – Europe’s tabletop and board gaming gathering – as well as proven Covid-19 immunisation or negative Covid test results, even if the government relaxes all measures around social distancing.
Organisers of the German board gaming convention confirmed the health and safety measures that will be taken ahead of the event scheduled to take place at the Messe Essen exhibition centre from October 14th to 17th this year.
The 2021 event will mark the return of the show’s physical format following its postponement last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and replacement with the online Spiel.Digital event in 2020. Its 2019 event saw some 209,000 visitors across its four days.
The show will be back this year, with health and safety measures in place for both exhibitors and visitors, who will be required to show valid proof of immunisation against Covid-19 to be granted entry. This has been defined as a full EU-licensed vaccination at least 15 days prior.
The event will also permit entry to visitors and exhibitors who present a negative test taken within the last 48 hours and will offer the chance for visitors to be tested in a nearby test centre.
Tabletop gaming platform, Dicebreaker, reports that “medical grade protective face masks” will be required by all visitors, and that those who remove their masks once inside will be liable to be removed from the event.
“Masks will be mandatory at Spiel in any case, even if the government does not make it mandatory,” an Essen Spiel representative told the publication.
The event organiser, Friedhelm Merz Verlag has also issued guidelines on social distancing during the event that includes 1.5 metre spacing between chairs at separate gaming booths, while up to ten people can play at a single table with no minimum social distancing measure for those at the same table.
Meanwhile, exhibitors will be required to keep track of visitors who play and at what time by collecting personal information. Visitors will be able to opt out of providing their data, but will not be able to participate in demos and other activities.
Further visitor information and rules will be provided around two weeks ahead of the Essen Spiel 2021 event in October.