At the time of writing, there are expected to be no formal rules in place in England and Wales in relation to Covid-19. However, many of us in the fannish community are vulnerable, and/or live with or care for people who are vulnerable, so we want to make sure the convention is as accessible and safe as possible for everyone to attend. We also want to make sure that the convention is as safe as possible for hotel staff and other hotel guests who aren’t attending the convention. This Covid-19 policy sets out how we will seek to mitigate the risks of virus transmission, and the behaviours we will expect from members attending the convention.
This policy has been developed and agreed by the whole Reclamation 2022 committee, and incorporates feedback from members and the fannish community. It is a living document and may change between now and the convention. Reclamation 2022 actively seeks feedback on this policy in order to improve it. If you have any questions or feedback, please email [email protected]
Everyone attending Reclamation 2022 in person must be fully vaccinated, and provide proof of vaccination (eg a valid NHS Covid Pass or equivalent). Proof will be checked at Registration. Sight of either an NHS Covid Travel pass on a smartphone, or a hard copy equivalent, will both be accepted. Please be aware that the hard copy equivalent can take up to seven days to arrive once ordered, so allow plenty of time if you intend to use this rather than a digital pass.
The domestic NHS Covid pass will not be accepted, as it includes negative test results and previous infections as well as vaccinations. On the app, please select the ‘Travel pass’ and not the ‘Domestic pass’. We will also accept sight of a stamped vaccination card in a name that matches the name the convention membership was booked under.
The only exceptions to this policy will be for those with a medical exemption, or in a group (eg children) where a full course of vaccination is not currently possible. Proof of medical exemption will be required – self-certification will not be accepted. We will not ask for the reasons for the medical exemption, just confirmation that one has been granted. UK members can obtain proof from the NHS — see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-medical-exemptions-proving-you-are-unable-to-get-vaccinated for details. (Note that we will need to see the confirmatory letter, not the NHS Domestic Pass.)
Before the Convention
We ask members to have a negative lateral flow test result within the 24 hours immediately prior to arriving at the convention. We will not ask for proof of a negative test – we will trust members to do this. At the time of writing, we expect there will be no national rules about self-isolation in the case of Covid-19 infection or exposure, but we ask members to be responsible and not to attend if they have any cold or flu symptoms.
Lateral flow tests are currently available for order from the NHS – https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests – or collection from local pharmacies in England and Wales. At the time of writing, these tests will be free up to 1 April in England and Wales. We strongly encourage convention members to order sufficient tests before 1 April to enable them to test for Reclamation 2022.
At the Convention
Physical and social distancing measures
Convention membership will be capped at 800 members to reduce crowding.
Convention members are asked to give other people as much space as possible, particularly when moving around the hotel, and when queuing for programme items, registration, and at the bar.
As a general rule, please be aware that people have very different comfort zones; give others as much space as possible and respect other people’s preferences. Please ask before approaching anyone too closely.
Members are encouraged to spread themselves out as far as possible within programme rooms to make full use of the space available. It is unfortunately not possible to space audience seating at 2 metres, but other measures will be in place to reduce risk.
Panellists will be spaced out to the maximum extent possible and we are exploring using perspex screens between panellists, and between panelists and the audience as an additional measure.
We have asked the hotel to maximise the ventilation within programme rooms. The hotel is air conditioned so all convention spaces will have fresh outside air constantly cycled through them. Many of the programme rooms have windows that can be opened, but this will create noise if windows are opened.
Hand sanitiser points will be located around the hotel.
Convention members are encouraged to download and use the NHS Covid 19 smartphone app for England and Wales. This will help with any official contact tracing in the event of virus transmission at Reclamation 2022.
Masks and face-coverings
Face masks must be worn at all times over the nose and mouth, except when eating and drinking in the bar and restaurant areas. This includes while seated in programme items and while moving around the hotel. Face visors are not accepted as a substitute for masks because they offer insufficient protection against virus transmission. Hotel staff will wear masks, but please be aware that the convention cannot insist hotel guests not attending Reclamation 2022 wear masks.
A small number of disposable masks will be available at the Information Desk if you have forgotten your mask.
For the benefit of members who are lip-readers, panellists must either wear no mask while on the panel, or use a mask with a transparent panel (provided by the convention if the panellist does not own one).
Members who have a legitimate exemption from mask-wearing (for example, children under the age of 11; people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability; or people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress) can get a badge from the Information Desk. Wearing this will help convention volunteers and prevent unnecessary challenges. Sunflower lanyards or similar will not be accepted as a substitute for a badge supplied by the convention.
Members should be aware that some convention members are deaf or hard of hearing and rely on lip reading. They may not be able to communicate with someone wearing a mask. Briefly removing a mask for a conversation with someone who lip-reads is allowed under this policy.
What do I do if I get ill during the convention?
There are currently expected to be no rules in place around self-isolation for those with a Covid-19 diagnosis or Covid-19 symptoms. Reclamation 2022 asks that anyone who develops cold/flu or Covid-19 symptoms during the convention self-isolates as far as possible and stays away from public convention areas for the sake of other members and hotel staff and guests.
After the convention
We strongly recommend that – even if fully vaccinated – convention members use lateral flow tests after the event to check their health.
At the time of writing, there are not expected to be formal contact tracing arrangements in place in England and Wales. However, Reclamation 2022 reserves the right to share membership details with the appropriate authorities if required for the purposes of contact tracing. However, this does not replace any individual member’s legal or moral responsibilities. For privacy and GDPR reasons, Reclamation 2022 will not be running a contact tracing service.
Compliance with this policy is a condition of attending Reclamation 2022. Breach of it will be treated as a Code of Conduct matter.
Moderators of programme items will be asked to remind attendees to wear masks and encourage them to make full use of the space available in programme rooms at the beginning of each programme item.
Reclamation 2022 volunteers will be asked to politely challenge anyone seen not wearing a mask or a badge indicating they are exempt, and remind them to wear a mask. Any harassment of anyone challenging people for not complying with this policy will be treated as a Code of Conduct matter.
Reclamation 2022 will not offer full refunds of attending memberships to anyone unable to attend the convention because they have tested positive for Covid-19 or are unable to travel to the UK due to pandemic related travel restrictions. If a member has tested positive for Covid-19 and is unable to attend the convention they will be offered a partial refund to supporting membership level in order to attend virtual elements of the convention. Find more details in our refund policy.
For privacy and GDPR reasons, Reclamation 2022 will not be keeping records of any convention member’s vaccination status, medical exemption from vaccination, or medical exemption from mask-wearing. Nor will Reclamation 2022 ask for the reasons for medical exemption from vaccination or mask-wearing.