(French translation forthcoming)
June 6, 2021
Greetings, Populace of the East Kingdom,
Seeing the Kingdom carefully return to practices and small local gatherings has been wonderful. Thank you to everyone for your diligence and care throughout the spring. We continue to honor the choices of those who will be refraining from public gatherings for quite some time, and we look forward to seeing you when you are ready to return.
We remind the populace that the Board’s previous guidance remains in effect throughout the month of June — masks that fully cover the nose and mouth must be worn properly at all times, including for activities requiring voice projection, no shared food or beverage and attendees must remain stationary while eating & drinking, no overnight camping, all events outdoors, attendance cap of 150 people, and pre-registration required. In addition, events held in June must submit a safety plan that their branch and regional seneschals approve in writing before the event is listed on the East Kingdom calendar.
As you may have read, the Board of Directors has lifted most of these requirements, starting July 1st. The East will also be adjusting our Kingdom-specific guidance starting July 1st.
Before we review the specifics of the Board’s and the East’s updated requirements, we want to urge all in the East to continue to act in ways that protect the vulnerable of our populace — those who cannot be vaccinated or are not yet vaccinated, including children. We urge all of the populace — even those who are fully vaccinated — to wear masks when indoors or standing close to others when outdoors, maintain social distance outside of your own “bubble” or “pod,” and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. Continuing these inclusive practices will make it possible for more of the populace to return to in-person events.
The Crown and the Kingdom Seneschal will continue wearing our masks to events at least through the summer, to help normalize these safety practices for all.
Here, then, are the guidelines as of July 1st:
- Always, the first set of requirements are those of public safety officials — you must follow any pandemic safety guidelines of federal, provincial, state, and/or local jurisdictions.
- Updated Society guidelines:
- The SCA may not provide shared drinking containers or any food served in a buffet-style. Attendees who accept shared drinking containers or buffet-style food from other attendees do so at their own risk. Feast will not be allowed at this time;
- All events shall require preregistration
- The following paragraph must appear, in its entirety, on all event notices, flyers, online announcements, and advertisements, as well as being posted in multiple locations at any and all SCA-sponsored functions going forward:
Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.
Notes on the Society’s updated guidance from the Society President and Society Seneschal:
- The Society’s position regarding asking about vaccination status has not changed. We may not ask about attendees’ vaccination status unless state/provincial/local authorities or the venue owners require it.
- Box lunches and individual food items that have been previously prepared by event staff and wrapped in plastic & served by gloved event staff are allowed. Third-party food trucks are also allowed.
- “Buffet-style” food service includes potluck meals and food served on platters for a group at a table, sometimes called “family style” service. These group servings are not allowed.
- Branch and/or Kingdom support cannot be given for planning shared food, including discussion in official social media/email spaces.
- Individually-sealed water bottles are allowed, as are multi-gallon water coolers for filling individual mugs. An event may choose to provide paper cups to avoid personal drinking vessels from accidently coming into contact with the spigot of a water cooler.
- For local practices, meetings, etc., you can just have people sign in when they arrive.
- The required paragraph for events listings and signs at the event itself replaces the previous sign listing COVID-19 symptoms. Event organizers who wish to continue posting the COVID-19 symptoms sign may do so, but it is not required.
- In the last sentence of the required paragraph, “those under your control” refers to your minor children and any children attending the event with you for whom you are responsible. It explicitly does not apply to marshals or others who have supervisory roles in the Society.
- The Society Seneschal reminds everyone that wrist bands, pins,medallions, or other tokens that are color-coded to denote either someone’s vaccination status or whether they are open to physical contact such as hugs must be ENTIRELY voluntary. Any kind of distribution of anything that labels or tags people is not to be done in such a way that it implies any SCA endorsement of such labels, or in such a way that people might perceive it as anything other than purely voluntary.
- Updated East Kingdom-specific guidelines — applies to all practices, business meetings, events, etc.
- The northern, central, and southern regions of the Kingdom will follow the guidance of the CDC and the state/local jurisdiction where the event will take place.
- Tir Mara will follow the guidance of the PHS and the province/local jurisdiction where the event will take place.
- Although we are not requiring specific safety plans after July 1st, we strongly encourage events to continue safety practices like having plenty of hand sanitizer throughout the event, having some disposable masks on hand, cleaning high-touch areas frequently, etc. We also strongly encourage event staff to wear masks, even if they are fully vaccinated, so that all attendees can feel more comfortable returning to events. Safety measures should be described in the event listing for better transparency with the populace.
- Although Society has lifted attendance caps, any events that have been planned & budgeted with the 150 person attendance limit may proceed as planned. Please contact the Kingdom Seneschal if you have questions.
With the careful resumption of our cherished events and activities, we look forward to seeing more of the populace in the months ahead.
In service to the East Kingdom,
Medhbh, Kingdom Seneschal
Tindal and Alberic, Consules of the East