Wedding Covid Update
The Welsh Government has made Regulations that govern the operation of Wedding businesses as part of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and other guidance on the law are published on the Welsh Government website.
The current Regulations allow for the solemnisation of marriage, formation of civil partnerships and alternative wedding ceremonies to take place. All premises approved to hold marriage and civil partnerships ceremonies are able to open for ceremonies up to the capacity of the venue given social distancing requirements. The guidance on wedding ceremonies can be found on the Welsh Government’s website.
The Regulations allow for wedding and civil partnership receptions to take place in alert levels 1 - 3 only. More information about the alert levels and the numbers allowed to attend a reception in each alert level can be found in the Coronavirus control plan: revised alert levels in Wales (March 2021).
From 17 May, all of Wales will be in alert level 2. This means that organised activities, including wedding receptions, can be arranged for up to 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Indoor wedding receptions cannot take place inside private homes. Food and drink are permitted at both indoor and outdoor wedding receptions in line with the hospitality guidance. More information is available in the UK Hospitality Cymru.
Outdoor receptions cannot take place in private gardens as the current restrictions are that only up to six people from two households (not including carers or children under 11 from either household) can meet outdoors in private gardens and private outdoor spaces, increasing to six people from any household from 26 April. A wedding reception cannot be held in an enclosed structure as defined in regulation 3 of the Smoke-free Premises and Vehicles (Wales) Regulations 2020, see further guidance below.
A reception can be held at a regulated venue that has not held the wedding ceremony itself. However, the reception must be associated with a wedding that has taken place after 26 March 2020.
Wedding businesses have a duty under the regulations to;
There is a range of guidelines that apply to your business and these are augmented by the content of this guidance which is designed to help you to meet your obligations, assess your premises and practises, and make your business COVID-19 safe. As an employer, you have the legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to mitigate them, recognising that risk management does not eliminate but instead minimises risk.
This means you need to undertake a full risk assessment for your individual premises and work activities, assessed against the relevant guidelines. The examples in this advice document are to help you to translate these into areas that may be relevant to your business, and any measures that are taken should fit appropriately with the operational needs of your business as well as relevant legal requirements.
The Welsh Government has produced workplace guidance for employers and employees. There is also guidance for the tourism and hospitality businesses and also detailed guidance for hospitality venues developed by UK Hospitality Cymru including updated mitigations for re-opening outdoors from 26 April. Indoor receptions are not permitted.
You should consult on, and share, the results of your risk assessment with your staff and colleagues either directly or via an employee or Union representatives. HSE has published guidance on worker involvement which may be helpful.
You should consider using the COVID-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool with all staff and volunteers to ensure that personal risk to this personnel is mitigated.
This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that as a business you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics. It contains non-statutory guidance to take into account when complying with these existing obligations. When considering how to apply this guidance, take into account agency workers, contractors and other people, as well as your employees.
Registrars or other third parties involved in the event may wish to assure themselves of their safety by considering the risk assessment. Copies of the assessment should be offered in these circumstances.
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