It’s approximately one week since our last coronavirus update and the situation has continued to develop. We are monitoring the situation closely and we’ll try to provide regular weekly updates on what it means for Empire until the situation clarifies one way or another.
There was a major government meeting yesterday - the 12th March - the upshot of which was that they are moving from containment to delay - but at this point they are only asking people with symptoms to self-isolate. They are warning that there is the potential for school closures and that large gatherings could be cancelled - but they have not taken any of those steps at present.
That means we are continuing to make preparations to run our first event at the end of April as planned. As mentioned previously we are carrying out a full assessment of every part of the event looking at what changes we can make to reduce transmission risks. Our senior management team is having detailed meetings every day to discuss the virus. We’ll be issuing additional safety advice well in advance of the first event in addition to the other steps that we’re taking.
We are also making contingency plans for a situation where events this year are cancelled. If we have to cancel one or more events, then we will automatically roll over every player’s booking to the next unbooked event to minimize the administrative burden. We hope that players will be happy to roll over their bookings, as that will help us considerably, but anyone who wishes to receive a refund, will be eligible to do so by contacting us exactly as normal. (https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/contactus)
I’m fully aware that there are a wide range of views on what the appropriate response to the coronavirus should be. Different countries are adopting different measures, and media are flush with a lot of different opinions and advice. We’re going to continue to take our lead from the guidance issued by the government. That means that all Empire events will continue as planned - unless the government indicates that they cannot go ahead.
That does mean that people who are at risk from the virus, that is the elderly or those with underlying health conditions that render them vulnerable, need to make their own assessment of whether it is appropriate to attend Empire events at this time. We don’t want anyone who is likely to become seriously ill from coronavirus to attend the events - and we’d ask you to help us make sure that doesn’t happen.
It also means that everyone must follow the government advice on self-isolation; nobody should attend any of our events if they are showing any symptoms of a respiratory infection. You can contact the office at any time before the event starts to let us know you’re not coming and we will refund your ticket. We trust our players to make sensible decisions, but if you attend the event with obvious signs of a coronavirus-like infection then we will refund your ticket and ask you to return home.
We’ll post another update on the 20th March at the latest and will continue to provide regular updates thereafter. I’d like to thank everyone for their forebearance and ask people to refrain from posting asking for updates (we’ll post the moment as we have any update) and to point anyone who does ask to this post.
This is a quick update just to let everyone know that we are aware of today’s announcement. We’re going to take the next few days to digest what has been said and what it means for us, for our crew and for our players. We’ll publish a full update on Friday letting everybody know what decisions we’ve taken. I appreciate that everyone will have questions about whether the events are still going ahead or not and similar; we’ll try to answer as many questions as possible on Friday.