Updated December 2022
In light of the ongoing issues and concerns around Covid-19, the 2022 AG debated the need to agree a set of guidelines that would both free up time for event organisers from having discussions around covid, and provide them with a clear set of guidelines to be applied consistently across all gatherings. As far as possible this will provide a good degree of protection for all attendees at gatherings, whilst also keeping gatherings open and accessible to as many people as possible within the wider gay/bi community.
With all the above in mind, and with many wide-ranging and often emotive views around covid within the community, it was taken as a given that to reach any agreement was going to involve a calm, generous spirit of give-and-take on all sides.
After a broad discussion, the AG accepted the recommendations of the ECC covid working party, who had been looking into the issues and most up-to-date information for best practice around covid and in-person gatherings in a more forensic manner. These have been formally adopted as policy for all ECC gatherings from 1st January 2023.
This policy is subject to annual review at each year's AG.
ECC recognises and understands the need to minimise, as far as is reasonably possible, the risks of Covid-19 transmission on ECC events. We also stress that ECC events by their very nature will often involve close proximity between participants and the close sharing of physical spaces, which could – all other things equal – facilitate transmission of Covid-19. Bearing these points in mind, we have therefore agreed a community Covid-19 policy for participation at ECC events which sets out both recommendations and requirements, as follows:
Recommendations and advice
We strongly advise all members to have their full course of Covid-19 vaccines, as we understand that this offers the best protection from severe illness. We will not, however, ask participants at an ECC event about their Covid-19 vaccination status nor ask for evidence of Covid-19 vaccination status.
We recommend that participants at an ECC event test for Covid-19 two days before attendance at the event. Where a participant tests positive, they should not attend the event.
Agreed Covid safety requirements for gatherings
On arrival at an ECC event, we will ask participants to take an LFT test for Covid-19. This test may be supervised by the event organisers. Where a participant tests positive for Covid-19, they should not attend the event and should return home (we will endeavour to assist you in doing so).
For ECC events of a week’s duration or longer, we will ask participants to take an LFT test for Covid-19 on the third day of the event. Where a participant tests positive, they will be required to isolate from the other participants and return home as soon as possible (we will endeavour to assist you doing so).
We require that participants at ECC events bring at least two Covid-19 LFT test kits, as well as a mask, in case these are needed.