We haven’t done one of these in a while! The big question everyone is asking is “when will events resume?” With the recent announcement by Wizards of the Coast that Organized Play could resume for their games on May 28, there has been understandable excitement about the possibility of gaming together. In this post, I will attempt provide some clarity on our process for reopening the event center.
Here’s the quick and dirty; as of right now, NYS regulations even with a vaccine passport require a minimum of 6 feet of social distance be available to all event participants. You cannot, reasonably, play Magic from 6 feet away from your opponent, so in New York State this is a non-starter, if we are to maintain a legal and safe event.
That said, regulations are set to change again in mid-May, and we – like NYS – will be reevaluating all medical data and regulations on a rotating basis. So, for now, we cannot set a specific date when events will resume at Just Games. For now, expect all events to be Webcam or Play at home, and all applicable prize support to continue.
What about miniatures / Pokemon / youth events / my exception I thought of?
Boy, I get asked this a lot. And nope, I don’t believe for one minute that you can truly play social games from 6 feet away and maintain that distance for the entirety of a 3-4 hour play session. We intend to respect the intent of the regulation, not just the letter of the law.
I will say, the next section should give you hope for events coming back sooner rather than later. When, I cannot presently say, but NYS is building a lot of infrastructure to facilitate this. Read on.
Starting May 15, NYS has given pretty clear guidance for large event venues; vaccine passports will be required. They recently extended this solution to smaller event venues (that’s us!) to use, though this is not made totally clear in the regulations – yet! However, all other applicable guidelines must be followed. Sorry folks, that means social distancing indoors, and as described above, that’s not really possible until that rule changes.
After NYS has a chance to test these passports at stadiums, sporting events, and so on, if they are successful at reducing transmission, we expect the state to revisit regulations that will allow more relaxation of the current guidelines impacting Just Games. That will be sometime after May 15. We’ll keep you posted.
That said, expect state requirements to ask for a vaccine passport a lot of places. If you’re not familiar, head over to the NYS Excelsior Pass website and learn more about how to enter large event venues without disclosing medical information while by use of this app.