COVID eksenannounce From the EK Seneschal News

Kingdom COVID19 Response

Greetings, Tyger Populace, 

I want to apologize again to the populace.  I am sorry that the decisions I made caused upset. I hope that the coming information will help to begin to mend your faith in me and that we can all step together to find a middle ground. 

To that end, I would like to share the Kingdom’s current response to COVID with you. I would ask that you please read all the way through, then re-read, as there will be a lot of information here, and there is no good way for me to break it up. I have provided a Highlights section here, so you know what to expect.

New Kingdom-Wide Variance

A Kingdom-wide variance has been approved by the Society Seneschal to go into effect immediately and will end on March 1, 2023.  It is as follows:

Indoor Masking for all persons age 2 and over will be required at all official SCA Activities (events, practices, meetings, etc.) in the United States portion of the East Kingdom, under the following condition: 

When the county where the activity is located reaches a status of HIGH on the CDC Community Levels map found here:

This is determined by the data on the Thursday just prior to the activity. 

If state or local regulations are more restrictive, those measures are to be followed.

For the Canadian provinces in Tir Mara, provincial and local guidance will be followed.

This variance is in effect immediately and will end on March 1, 2023.  


An official practice will be held on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 in Springfield, MA.  If, on the Thursday prior, December 29, 2022, the Community Level in Hampden County, MA is listed as HIGH according to the map above, then masks will be required at the practice on January 3, 2023.  

An event will be held in Bangor, ME on Saturday, January 21, 2023.  On the Thursday prior, January 19, 2023, the Community Level in Penobscot County, ME is listed as LOW according to the map above. As such, masks will not be required. 

An event will be held in Montreal, Quebec on Saturday, February 4, 2023.  On January 12, 2023, the local government issued a mask mandate requiring indoor masking due to an increase in cases.  Masks will be required at the event on February 4, 2023.

(Variance wording stand-alone found here:

As the Kingdom has followed the CDC guidance from the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to do so.

The CDC has recommended the use of the Community Levels map to determine action as it addresses the impact of COVID19 on communities.  The chart below is taken directly from the CDC website and shows how the Community Levels are calculated.

(Chart pulled from CDC website on 11/10/2022)

The CDC has recommendations based on these levels, and they can be located here:

Status of Variances

  • There are a few variances I approved for local practices and gatherings through November 30, 2022. Those will remain in effect through November 30, 2022 and then be replaced by the above Kingdom-wide variance. 

  • There are a couple of variances I denied, based on the above CDC map at the time of decision. As the Kingdom-wide Variance is in effect immediately, should the county in question fall into the HIGH category on the Thursday prior, then masks will be required at the event. 

As an example, this weekend is St. Eligius in New Haven, CT.  New Haven is in New Haven County.  

New Haven County’s current Community Level is MEDIUM.  As such, masks will not be required at the event. 

  • There are a few variances which are still “in the wings” so-to-speak.  No decision has been made on them as of yet. I will be formally denying those variances in favor of the Kingdom-wide Variance, as all of those requests have come in for after December 1, 2022. I will be sending those notifications out after this has been posted. 


Requesting New Variances

Should you wish to request a variance to alter the Kingdom-wide variance (or any variance for that matter), there are a few steps which must be taken.  

  1. The request must come from the branch Seneschal. And specifically, must come from the email address.
  2. It must be specific in nature and have a metric and/or reasons for an alteration. 
  3. Confirmation that the request has been received will be made in 48 hours and provide a decision timeline.
  4. If I agree with the variance request, I will send it to the Society Seneschal for review.  
  5. If I do not agree with the variance request, I will notify the branch Seneschal. 
  6. Should you wish to appeal my decision, the branch Seneschal would then email the Society Seneschal to request review. 

If you would like to have a conversation with me regarding this process, or have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Personal Responsibility and Illness

I want to stress the importance of taking care of yourself, your health (mental and physical), and those of your loved ones. 

If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, regardless if they are COVID-related or not, please do not attend the event/practice/gathering. If you are playing the “allergies or cold” game, please assume cold and do not attend the event. 

If you test positive for COVID, please do not attend any event/gathering for 10 days, or when you have had 2 negative home tests 48 hours apart. The Kingdom has to rely on your honor for this, as we will not be allowed to ask for proof. Please choose to do the right thing. 

In addition, all members of the populace should be prepared to mask at events and gatherings. 

Masking and Distancing

With all that said, I recognize there is always more we can do to protect each other while also respecting each other. 

To this end, I ask that the people of the East begin to reframe how they interact with each other. Do not assume close contact is acceptable for everyone. Please ask before entering someone’s personal space. Remember just because you have received permission once, does not mean you always have permission. Similarly, if you are asked to mask when approaching someone, please do so. Consent is absolutely vital in our Society, and we should be making every effort to allow people that right. 

I strongly encourage people to mask when possible, with the best masks they have access to. The CDC, along with other sources, advise the best masks available are N95s or KN95s.

As such, with the support of the Crown and Heirs, I will make N95/KN95 masks available for any event attendees between this announcement and the end of the variance, March 1, 2023.

Masks will be available for any event that has a listing on the East Kingdom Event Calendar and will be shipped directly to someone who will be attending. 

To request masks for your event, the event steward just needs to complete the form linked here:

(If there is a problem with the form, please email me as soon as you are able, and I’ll get it fixed!) 

I have had several people ask if they can put verbiage out recommending masking at events. The short answer to that is “Absolutely!” I encourage groups to continue to promote masking.  This can include signs at events, language in event listings, and setting an example by wearing them. 

Commitment to Vigilance

I will be routinely checking the CDC website and keeping an eye on the state of the Kingdom and the COVID levels. Should things in the Kingdom change, I will review our next steps appropriately and act with the best interest of the Kingdom as a whole. 

I will be reviewing the existing variance in mid February 2023.

I hope you were able to get through all of that, and thank you for sticking with me. I am thankful for each and every voice in our Kingdom, and hope with the above measures in place we are able to come together again and enjoy our hobby. 

In Service,

Magistra Audrye Beneyt 
East Kingdom Seneschal

COVID eksenannounce From the EK Seneschal News

New Kingdom-wide Variance Effective 11/11/2022

The following variance has been approved by the Society Seneschal, to go in to effect immediately: 

Indoor Masking for all persons age 2 and over will be required at all official SCA Activities (events, practices, meetings, etc) in the United States portion of the East Kingdom, under the following condition: 

When the county where the activity is located reaches a status of HIGH on the CDC Community Levels map found here:

This is determined by the data on the Thursday just prior to the activity. 

If state or local regulations are more restrictive, those measures are to be followed.

For the Canadian provinces in Tir Mara, provincial and local guidance will be followed.

This variance is in effect immediately and will end on March 1, 2023.  


An official practice will be held on January 3, 2023 in Springfield, MA.  If, on the Thursday prior, December 29, 2022, the Community Level in Hampden County, MA is listed as HIGH according to the map above, then masks will be required at the practice on January 3, 2023.  

An event will be held in Bangor, ME on January 21, 2023.  On the Thursday prior, January 19, 2023, the Community Level in Penobscot County, ME is listed as LOW according to the map above. As such, masks will not be required. 

An event will be held in Montreal, Quebec on February 4, 2023.  On January 12, 2023, the local government issued a mask mandate requiring indoor masking due to an increase in cases.  Masks will be required at the event on February 4, 2023.


A Kingdom, A Seneschal and a Pandemic

Greetings to the Tyger Populace, 

So many things have happened in the last two months that I’m not entirely sure where to begin.  Please hold tight, and come along for a little ride with me.  

 Let me start by recognizing we are a mighty and ferocious Kingdom, which is built upon a love for this hobby, a care for each other, and knowing when standing up is the right thing to do. 

When I made the decision to drop the mask mandate on October 1, 2022, I heard cries of outrage and cries of joy.  They varied from whispers to downright screams.  I heard each and every one. I felt all of them, and the turmoil it put on the Kingdom and its people was hard.  

When I stepped into this role back in April, I didn’t know quite how hard it would be to experience all of that first hand. Even having stood next to Medhbh for pretty much her entire time as Seneschal, I couldn’t anticipate how it would feel to stand in those shoes. If you were to ask any of my predecessors, they would tell you the same, I am absolutely sure of it.

All that is to say, I’m sorry. I am sorry that people felt (and still feel) stressed. I am sorry that people did not feel heard, and did not feel wanted. I am sorry to those who do not feel safe enough to share their thoughts. I firmly believe it is important to recognize when we have made a mistake which impacts so many others. I believe apologizing is important. I believe doing both of those things publicly when it is called for, is absolutely necessary. 

I want to acknowledge that, regardless of where a person stands on the topic, they are important. I repeat, each and every one of you is important. You are important to me, to the Crown, to the Kingdom. 

With that said, over the next day I will be releasing some information which I hope will help us all move forward as a Kingdom. I hope it will help us begin to walk towards each other again, instead of creating division. I hope we are able to find places to meet in the middle, where all feel safe, heard, and wanted.

I ask that you please be patient with me as I get this information out in a way which is clear, concise and easy to follow so it is done once without the need to retract, rephrase or explain in other ways.

With my love, and in service to the Kingdom of the East,

Audrye, KSen

eksenannounce From the EK Seneschal

Weekly Update – October 17, 2022

Good afternoon to the Tyger Populace!

I’m going to attempt to start doing a “weekly newsletter” of sorts to let you know what kinds of things are going on, and where I/We stand on certain situations. I’m hoping for weekly, but the reality is, it might be a bi-weekly update. It will cover things like the current state of the Kingdom, COVID, what events I’ll be attending, and other things as needed.

You’ll be able to find it here on the Seneschal’s Website, but it will also be cross-posted to the EK-Announce Lists as well Facebook/Discord.

State of the Kingdom

As one might imagine, the populace is a bit animated with the lifting of COVID restrictions in a rapid fashion. The voices are being heard in my office from both sides of the fence. This has caused a bit of delayed response, unfortunately, because it is important that I be able to read through all of the responses. While I may not always respond to every single one, they are being heard.

The other side effect to the email-chaos, is that some emails have slipped through the cracks and into a filter that should not have been the case! I’m pretty tech savvy, but even I get caught up sometimes! If you have not heard from me inside of a week regarding something, please resend the original email to me so I can review it.

Generally speaking, though, the events I have attended all seem to be in good spirits and people are happy to be together more regularly. It’s important to take care of ourselves and be cognizant of our own health as we continue to move forward. I would ask all local groups to continue to encourage spaces where all members of the populace can attend, whether they be in-person, online meetings, or a combination of both.

COVID Restrictions

And that brings me to the hot-topic directly. I have heard many voices both for and against the lifting of restrictions.

Some local groups have requested variances to the policies regarding indoor masking for events and local gatherings. Generally speaking, I have been granting them. In full transparency, I am not granting any variances regarding the vaccination/negative COVID tests as the Policy as written (and kept by the Board of Directors) is no longer effective as an actual measure of safety. I’ll leave that conversation for in person discussions, and am happy to have that.

I am currently working on a variance request to Society which, if successful, I believe will make much of the populace feel better, and provide a measure of control at a local level. It is presently being drafted and I’ll be sending it off to the Society Seneschal for review by the end of the week.

Thank you to all those who have shared their opinions, both for and against, the restrictions. And an extra thank you to all who have reached out to share words of support for the role and me personally while this is all going on. It has meant the world to me to see a message or an email pop in saying that they care and hope I am weathering all of this okay.

In closing, I really appreciate the effort and care the populace puts in to this Kingdom. Whether as a regular attendee of gatherings in person or virtual, a volunteer, a member of landed nobility, or the Crown, the passion of people in this Kingdom are what drew me to this role as Seneschal and will continue to drive my work here.

Thank you all for everything you do, and I hope to see you soon. The events I’ll be at are shared at the bottom of this note!

In Service,

Upcoming Events

You’ll be able to find me at the following events:

October 29, 2022 – Crown Tournament of Mohammad and Corotica

November 12, 2022 – St. Eligius Arts & Sciences

November 18, 2022 – 100 Minutes War


Communication Regarding Civility and the COVID Discussions

Good afternoon, Tyger Populace, 

I wanted to reach out briefly to let you all know that I am here and reading email.  However, I am trying to get some clarification from “above” regarding some specifics to the change in policies and precautions surrounding COVIDSafe and masking. I need some further guidance before I can commit to anything at this time. 

I would ask you all to also understand that while I make these decisions in consultation with the Crown, and they have supported them, ultimately the decision is mine to make. Their Majesties and Their Highnesses, while supporting the decision, did not make the final call. Please consider that when you are sharing your concerns. 

As a reminder, courtesy and respect is paramount even when you don’t agree with each other or the decisions that have been made.  I have heard some unsettling rumors regarding people’s lives and occupations being threatened by others.  This comes from both sides of the debate.  If I am able to track down the sources, conversations will be had and repercussions possible. 

This conversation is not easy. These decisions are not easy. I ask that you consider that when you are engaging in discussion and remember to keep to civility.  

Thank you all for your patience while I work through it all. 

Be kind to each other. 

In Service, 
Magistra Audrye Beneyt
East Kingdom Seneschal


East Kingdom COVIDSafe and Masking Policy

The East Kingdom has adopted the Society’s COVIDSafe policy, which requires that all who are eligible to be vaccinated either show proof of vaccination or the negative result of a medically-supervised COVID test administered within 72 hours of the start of the event, practice, or meeting. Currently, this applies to everyone 5 years old and over in the U.S. In Tir Mara, this applies to everyone 12 years old and over; the update for children ages 5+ applies as of March 1, 2022 in Canada. Additionally, everyone ages 18+ must show either a government-issued photo ID or an SCA blue membership card with the name matching the vaccination/negative test results.

The East Kingdom requires that all attendees ages 2+ at all in-person gatherings wear properly-fitting masks that comply with CDC/PHS guidelines about effective masks. Masks must be worn at all times, including while fighting indoors. They may be lowered briefly while actively eating and drinking.

The East Kingdom is currently allowing in-person gatherings capped at 15 people. The next update to this policy will be approx Feb 12-13th.

For more information, go to the Gate in a Box: COVID Edition resource on the Kingdom Seneschal’s webpage:


East Kingdom Event Workflow – Requiring Proof of Vaccination/Negative COVID Test

This East Kingdom Event Workflow is to assist branches in implementing the September 27, 2021 announcement from the Board of Directors, which allows Kingdoms to decide whether to implement a policy requiring all in-person event attendees to show proof either of full vaccination or a medically-supervised negative COVID test administered within 72 hours of the event. This policy will go into effect in the East Kingdom on October 12, 2021.

A. Read the policy announced by the Board of Directors on Sept 27, 2021: (click here)

B. Read the Society-written FAQ, which is being updated regularly: (click here)

C. Federal/provincial/state/local law always applies before Society policy. Tir Marans in Nova Scotia and PEI, for example, must be fully vaccinated to attend certain types of gatherings per gov’t policy; there is no alternative to show a negative COVID test result.

Workflow for checking proof of vaccination/negative COVID tests

0. Scope out your space and funnel attendees through as few entry points as possible. If you are in a public park, maybe do this with orange traffic cones and rope or make clear in publicizing the event that folks need to check in at the big maple tree before entering the event space — whatever makes the most sense for monitoring the flow of people into your space.

  • Events may have multiple gates, but someone must check vaccination/negative COVID test results at EACH gate.
  • Multiple people can check vaccination/negative COVID test results at each gate, but all who do must sign the statement required by the Board.
  • Anyone who checks vaccination/negative COVID tests must be at least 18 years old. Minors may NOT serve in this role.

1. For larger events, all event staff should show their proof of vaccination/negative COVID test  before gate opens to the rest of your attendees. If event staff arrive after gate opens, they’ll follow the same procedure as other attendees.

2. Anyone checking proof of vaccination/negative COVID test results should be stationed before the gate table/clipboard. Check vaccination/negative COVID test results, then check in to the event.

  • Smaller in-person gatherings like practices and meetings can have one person oversee all aspects of gate: vaccination/negative COVID test results, regular check-in with blue-card or signing the waiver, and contact tracing information.
  • Checking vaccination/negative COVID test results is a visual process only. Do not record that you have checked someone in any way, including a mark beside their name on the gate check-in sheet.
  • Do not combine forms — contact tracing information needs to be kept separate from the Board-required statement.
  • Pre-registration CANNOT include proof of vaccination/negative COVID test. This MUST be checked in person on the day of the event.

3. Someone else should cross-check that the person checking everyone ELSE’s vaccination/negative COVID test status is, themselves, vaccinated or has a negative COVID test.

4. All people who check vaccination/negative COVID test results must sign the statement provided by the Board. See below for a model page.

5. Treat the statement affirming that the person/people have checked the vaccination/negative COVID test results of everyone attending the event like event waivers — file & maintain them in the same way that you file & maintain event waivers.

COVID vaccination and Test Attestment form


COVIDSafe Proof of Fully Vaccinated Status or Negative COVID Test Policy

Good evening, Populace of the East Kingdom,

While some folks have been eager to return to in-person events, the East Kingdom has also seen a lot of reluctance from others. Part of the reason for that is not feeling safe from COVID on site.

The Board of Directors has now given each Kingdom Seneschal, in consultation with their Crown, the authority to decide whether their Kingdom will require that all attendees at all in-person gatherings show proof of either full vaccination or a medically-supervised negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event. Proof of vaccine or a negative test shall not be required for children under 12. Children that are aged 3 through 11 shall wear a mask.

The full Board announcement is here: <

The East Kingdom seeks to prioritize the health and safety of all its members, paid and unpaid. Accordingly, the East will be implementing this policy, effective as of October 12, 2021. This two week period will give event staff, as well as those who run weekly practices and meetings, a chance to become familiar with the requirements of the new policy and make appropriate adjustments. The Kingdom Seneschal will be holding info sessions on Sunday, October 3rd and Monday, October 4th, from 7 – 9 pm EDT both nights. The meetings are open to all officers and event staff throughout the Kingdom; please contact your branch seneschal or the Kingdom Seneschal to get the Zoom link.

We are still required to collect all attendees’ legal name and either a phone number or email for contact tracing purposes.

The Kingdom mask policy remains in place for the northern, central, and southern regions of the Kingdom. Masks must be worn at all in-person gatherings, except under a helm when actively fighting. When the helm comes off, the mask goes on. Masks may be briefly lowered while eating and drinking.

Update for Tir Mara: Because of the differences between the ways in which the U.S. and Canadian federal & provincial governments are addressing the pandemic, the Kingdom mask policy is rescinded for attendees ages 12 and over in Tir Mara; in keeping with the Society policy, children ages 3-11 must wear masks at all times. Members of the populace in Tir Mara must follow Canadian federal & provincial requirements, and we echo the Public Health Agency’s September 17, 2021 statement encouraging “core public health practices” (click here for the PHA statement). If visiting the U.S. part of the Kingdom, masks must be worn.

As always, if Society/Kingdom policy conflicts with mundane federal/provincial/state law, the mundane requirements will over-ride Society/Kingdom policy. Please let the Kingdom Seneschal know if your jurisdiction has a conflict.

In service,
Medhbh, Kingdom Seneschal
Ioannes II and Ro Honig, Emperor and Empress

Salutations au Peuple du Royaume de l’Est.

Bien que plusieurs de notre Royaume souhaitent ardemment participer à des événements en présentiel, plusieurs autres sont réticents. La raison principale de cette réticence est le sentiment d’insécurité face à la COVID 19 lors des événements en présentiel.

Le Conseil d’administration de la SCA (CA-SCA) a octroyé à chacun des Sénéchaux des Royaumes, en consultation avec les Couronnes respectives, le pouvoir d’exiger que tous les participants aux événements en présentiel présentent une preuve vaccinale ou un test médical COVID négatif de moins de 72 heures. La présentation d’une preuve vaccinale ou d’un test médical COVID négatif ne s’applique pas aux enfants de moins de 12 ans. Les enfants entre 3 et 11 ans doivent porter un masque.

Vous pouvez consulter l’annonce de la politique ici (en anglais seulement) : <>

 L’objectif du Royaume de l’Est est d’assurer la santé et la sécurité de ses participants, qu’ils soient des membres en règle de la SCA ou non. Conséquemment, le Royaume de l’Est mettra en place cette politique à partir du 12 octobre prochain. D’ici là, cette période de 2 semaines permettra aux membres organisateurs d’événements ainsi que ceux qui planifient les réunions et pratiques hebdomadaires de se familiariser avec la nouvelle politique et de mettre en place les mécanismes pour s’y conformer. Le Sénéchal du Royaume tiendra deux séances d’information les 3 et 4 octobre de 19 à 21 heures. Ces séances sont ouvertes aux officiers organisateurs d’événements du Royaume. Contactez le Sénéchal du Royaume ou votre sénéchal local pour obtenir le lien Zoom.

Pour des fins de traçabilité, nous devons continuer à tenir un registre des participants qui inclut le nom légal ainsi que le numéro de téléphone ou courriel.

La politique du Royaume concernant le port du masque demeure en place pour les régions du nord, centrale et du sud. Le masque doit être porté en tout temps lors de rassemblement en présentiel sauf sous un heaume lors de combats. Le masque peut être abaissé brièvement lors de la consommation de boisson ou de nourriture.

 Mise à jour pour Tir-Mara : dû aux différences dans la gestion de la pandémie entre le gouvernement des États-Unis et du Canada; fédéral et provincial; la politique du Royaume portant sur le port du masque est suspendue sur le territoire de la Principauté couronnée de Tir-Mara. Les membres de Tir-Mara doivent suivre les règles de santé publique fédérale et/ou provinciale en vigueur. Le Royaume souscrit pleinement aux pratiques de santé publique émises par l’Administratrice en chef de la santé publique du Canada le 17 septembre dernier (cliquez  ici  pour la déclaration). Si des membres de Tir-Mara participent à des événements dans la partie américaine du Royaume, ceux-ci devront obligatoirement porter le masque.

Pour terminer, si les politiques de la SCA ou du Royaume entrent en conflit avec les lois mondaines fédérales-provinciales ou d’états, ces dernières ont préséance. 

Medhbd, Sénéchal du Royaume
Ioannes II et  Ro Honig, Empereur et Impératrice


A reminder about mask wearing at events

Good afternoon, populace of the East Kingdom,

I write to remind the populace that masks are the price of having in-person events, and compliance is not optional. 

A recent event was particularly inattentive to correct mask wearing, which I was deeply disappointed to learn about from first-person accounts and many photos on Facebook.

This is unacceptable. The Kingdom is requiring that attendees for all in-person gatherings of all types and sizes wear masks. Masks can be lowered BRIEFLY to eat or drink, and they do not need to be worn under the helm if actively fighting. When the helm comes off, the mask goes on. Full stop, no exceptions.

All branch officers and event staff need to both set the example and enforce compliance. We also really need attendees to do their part — wear your masks, gently remind your friends to wear theirs. No one wants to be the mask police monitoring every single face for full compliance, but neither is a complete lack of enforcement effort acceptable. If officers and event staff are uncomfortable asking folks to wear masks, then the branch shouldn’t be holding in-person gatherings. If attendees refuse to wear masks, they will be told to leave. If they refuse to leave, the authorities will be called.

Should I learn of in-person gatherings with poor mask compliance, this office will investigate. Should the reports be true, I will suspend the branch from all activity for at least a month, possibly longer depending on specifics. I will also strongly consider pulling officers’ warrants. In this, I have the support of the Crown, the Society Seneschal, and Society President.

Please, everyone — being back to in-person events has brought a lot of joy. Wear the mask so we can continue to see each other. Thank you.

In service,


A plea and a reminder

Good morning, all gentles of the East Kingdom,

On the eve of one of our most treasured events, the Coronation of a new Crown, excitement, anticipation, and eagerness for shared community are high. The Coronation of Ioannes and Ro Honig brings the Kingdom another step closer to our established traditions.

And yet, we must remain diligent in our individual and collective safety measures. If you are feeling ill at all, please do not attend this or any other event. We have all come through too much to jeopardize our current ability to gather together.

At all in-person gatherings, please wear your CDC/PHS-compliant mask, correctly, every time (unless eating, drinking, or actively fighting). This includes while in your general camp area at a camping event (obviously, event staff will not monitor whether you are masked inside your tent). If reminded by event staff, please be courteous as they work to fulfill this directive. Likewise, event staff will gently point out to parents if their young children are unmasked.

Thank you for the Kingdom’s collective effort that makes it possible to do all of the activities which brought us together in the Society.

In service,
Kingdom Seneschal