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Essen Spiel 2022 announces early October dates but no safety restrictions, yet

Next year’s tabletop convention will run October 6th through the 9th, but no word on continuing safety restrictions.

A mere day after closing the book on 2021’s gathering, Essen Spiel has announced the dates for next year’s board game tour de force. The convention will run from October 6th through the 9th, weeks earlier than its normal slot.

The dates were posted to the organisation’s social media pages on October 18th with the text, “For all those who are already looking forward to next year like crazy, here is the date.” The Messe Essen exhibition centre, located in Essen, Germany, will once again host the largest public fair in the board game hobby.

It’s not clear at this time if Spiel will continue the COVID-19 safety precautions put in place for 2021’s convention. The physical show was completely canceled in 2020 and replaced with the fully online Spiel.Digital event that included livestreamed panels and press events along with demos of new and upcoming board games.

This year’s Essen Spiel enforced a number of safety restrictions on visitors and exhibitors to ensure a safe return to in-person events. All attendees were required to show valid proof of immunisation against COVID-19 in order to be allowed entry to the convention, either through vaccination records or a negative test in combination with the first - or single - vaccine administration. Show floor staff enforced a mandatory mask requirement, and tables, crowds and booths were arranged to maximise social distancing where possible.

All of the guidelines enforced during the 2021 Spiel mirrored the Coronaschutzverordnung - “Corona Virus Protection Ordinance” - of Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia state, wherein Essen resides. If any safety rules and restrictions were to change for 2022, that ordinance would be a good early indicator of the convention’s directions.

Dicebreaker returned to Spiel ‘21 in person to cover all the exciting and interesting games on offer, including the fairly underwhelming Far Cry Beyond board game, a spin-off of dexterity game Ice Cool called Iron Forest and more details about the officially licensed Cowboy Bebop tabletop RPG. All of the event coverage and podcasts can be found here.

Dicebreaker has reached out to the Essen Spiel organisation for more information about next years show and how safety measures might change and will update this piece as information becomes available.

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