❤️ LATEST COVID RULES ON WEDDINGS IN WALES ❤️
24/12/2021: Update on Weddings (also read 22/12/2021 update): Wedding, Civil partnership or alternative wedding receptions and wakes. There are no legal limits on the number of people who can attend a wedding, civil partnership or alternative wedding receptions and wake. However, hospitality rules will apply and reasonable measures must be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to and spread of coronavirus. You should aim to keep 2m physical distance from anyone you do not live with as much as possible. It is strongly advised that you take a Lateral Flow Test on the day of the event, whether you are fully vaccinated or not. If you receive a positive result, you should not attend, you should self-isolate and take a PCR test. Likewise, if you are ill and/or displaying symptoms you should self-isolate and take a PCR test.
Restaurants, cafes and pubs; Venues such as restaurants, cafes and pubs are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:
• customers will be encouraged to pre-book with details of all members of the group
• contact details will be required for contact tracing purposes
• entry to the premises will be controlled
• licenced premises, such as pubs, will be providing table service only
• all food and drink should be consumed at tables
• physical distancing measures will be applied, such as tables being spaced out
• face coverings must be worn other than when seated to eat or drink
You can visit outdoor and indoor spaces of licensed premise such as cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars with people you live with. However, if you want to visit licensed premises with people you do not live with, then you should meet up with no more than five other people, i.e. your party must contain no more than six people from up to six households at any one time (excluding any carers or children under 11 from any of these households).
22/12/2021: Update on Weddings & Omicron (more news coming in daily almost!): Wedding Limit in Conservatory (see below) is now 92 people. 60 in function room. Theatre for Ceremony - limit is 66 people.
New measures will be introduced from 6am on Boxing Day to help keep Wales safe. The measures are a revised version of alert level 2 to respond to the new omicron variant and are designed to help keep businesses open and trading and protect customers and staff. The regulations bring back protections in hospitality businesses, including licensed premises, and in cinemas and theatres when they re-open after the festive period. Strengthened guidance will be issued to help people stay safe in their own homes and when meeting others.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: We are facing a very serious situation in Wales. A wave of infections caused by the new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our way. This new form of coronavirus could infect large numbers of people in Wales, disrupting daily lives and businesses and could cause an increase in the number of people who need hospital care in the coming weeks. We will do everything we can to protect people’s health and livelihoods in Wales – this means taking early action to try and control its spread. We are changing the rules for businesses and some public spaces, where lots of different people mix daily and issuing strong and clear advice to help people stay safe in their own private homes and when meeting others.
From Boxing Day, the alert level 2 measures will mean:
• A general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.
• The rule of 6 will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
• All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.
• Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.
• Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors*.
• There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.
Specific Legislation states are Alert Level 2:
• *Weddings (ceremony limit set by venue). Wedding reception or wake (Limits to be set by venues when social distancing is taken into account, also you should take a lateral flow test on the day of the event). Following measurement of the various function rooms and in accordance with the statement: “The number of guests able to attend a wedding is determined by the size of the venue in order to allow them to put in 2m social distancing in place”
This means that our capacity for the following rooms have changed to:
• theatre - 66 people
• function room - 60 people
• conservatory- 92 people
• Holding large gatherings will be an offence under new Welsh post-Christmas Covid regulations. There will be a separate offence for large gatherings – more than 30 people indoors or 50 people outdoors – in private homes and gardens.
Q&A chat 23/12/2021
Q: i have a question regarding the numbers for each of the room - are they inclusive of children - or children exempt from the restrictions? Oldest attending would be 10. (Also asked; why is Comservatory able to take more than function room?):
ANS: Conservatory is larger, and tables of 10 can be spaced out so we can get 9 tables of 10. Function Room, you have to leave spaces between tables, and with Xmas tree, pathway and way it's laid out, leaving gaps between the tables only gets you 6 tables of 10. Plus buffet table and space allowed in the main for the evening function dancing. The rule of 6 doesn't apply as far as we are concerned to weddings or life events just applying to ordinary dining, and non life events where the numbers are a maximum of 30, as that is how the regulations as far as I have read them have been interpreted. The rule of 6 didn't specifically mention ages of people, just generalised with "There will also be an exception for events involving children"
When the last rule of 6 was in place "Children of all ages count towards the limit of 6, according to the latest guidance from the British government but this contrasted with the approach of Scotland and Wales – where children under 12 and 11 respectively were exempt – and was criticised for unfairly penalising larger families and households". Therefore on that basis, children dining after Boxing Day for for evening meal under 12 would not be counted so you could have 6 adults and any number of under 12's.
As for weddings it doesn't apply. It also depends on what the customer is actually looking to book for instance as if it was a kids party you could in theory have 90 children and the 30 rule would not apply if they are all children. But we couldn't for instance fit 90 adults and more children as they can't be socially distanced, that's why the rule for weddings is based on venue size and social distancing. Probably all change and luckily irrespective of the numbers all events we have booked over Xmas and NYE the numbers fit by far.
Last week new measures were announced for workplaces and retail – these will now come into force on Boxing Day. Nightclubs will also close on Boxing Day. The Welsh Government will not be making new rules about mixing in people’s private homes, including gardens, in holiday accommodation or meeting outdoors. Instead guidance will be issued to help people stay safe.
To help you stay safe in your own home, we strongly advise everyone follows these 5 measures:
• Limit the number of people visiting your home.
• If people are visiting, make sure they take a lateral flow test in the morning before the visit.
• Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.
• Space out any visits.
• And don’t forget about social distancing and washing your hands.
The First Minister added: The most important thing we can all do to protect ourselves against omicron is to be fully vaccinated – that means also having the booster. If you are eligible for a booster then please make getting it a priority in the coming weeks. As we enter our second winter of the pandemic, we have high vaccination coverage and tens of thousands of extra boosters are being given every day. We also have access to the rapid lateral flow tests to help us all identify signs of infection without symptoms. Both of these, together with everything we have learned over the last 2 years will help to keep us safe at home without the need for new rules and regulations about mixing at home.
17/12/2021 Update & Omicron: Welsh Update. - Essentially Xmas is fine as are weddings. No specific legal change (yet - more on 27th Dec) just polite urging to be SAFE and SENSIBLE. And get the Booster.The Welsh Government is issuing strong guidance to support people across Wales through the Christmas period. Wales will then introduce new restrictions, including for businesses and services – from 27 December. This will include a 2m rule on social distancing in offices and putting extra measures in place to protect customers and staff, such as one-way systems and physical barriers. Nightclubs will also close. These tougher restrictions are needed to help control the spread of omicron.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "Delta will continue to be the main cause of coronavirus infections in Wales up to Christmas. But we are seeing cases of omicron increasing rapidly every day in Wales – and across the UK. We need a plan to keep us safe this Christmas and we need stronger measures to protect us afterwards, as we prepare for a large wave of omicron infections. Omicron poses a new threat to our health and safety. It is the most serious development in the pandemic to date. It is one we must take seriously. We will continue to put in place proportionate measures to protect people’s lives and livelihoods. This is a virus which thrives on human contact. Every contact we have is an opportunity for us to spread or catch the virus."
Everyone to follow five simple steps for a safer Christmas, as the more people we see in the run-up to Christmas, the more opportunities the virus has to spread. Reducing our contact with others, especially if we are seeing older people or more vulnerable people over Christmas, will help to protect them from the virus. To stay safe in the run up to Christmas, the Welsh Government is strongly advising everyone to follow these five measures to stay safe:
- Get vaccinated – and if you’ve had your booster appointment, please make attending your priority.
- If you’re going out, going Christmas shopping or visiting people – flow before you go. Take a lateral flow test. If it’s positive – don’t go out.
- Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.
- Space out your socialising – if you’ve got events arranged, please leave at least a day between them.
- And don’t forget about social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing your hands.
The regulations will also be changed to include a requirement to work from home wherever possible. After Christmas, on 27 December new legal restrictions will come into force, to help protect against the spread of the omicron variant.
Drakefrod: "This year a smaller Christmas is a safer Christmas. The fewer people we see, the less chance we have of catching or passing on the virus. Please enjoy Christmas with your nearest and dearest – and think about meeting up with wider circles of friends when the threat posed by the omicron variant has passed over. I also want to thank the many thousands of people who will be working this Christmas to keep us safe – especially all those who have cancelled their plans to work in the vaccination centres across Wales to increase our protection against this awful virus."
14/12/2021 Update: Subject: Plan B for Weddings - The government is yet to update their wedding guidance page, but wedding-specific details have been included in more recently updated documents. The headlines (Note this is the Guidance for ENGLAND, Wales has not yet said anything):
• Masks aren't mandatory in hospitality venues, including wedding venues, where the main activity is eating, drinking, and dancing.
• Venues can ask attendees to wear masks, for example, to move around the venue.
• Most registrars are asking that masks be worn by guests during the ceremony. The law appears to support this as wedding ceremonies are open to the public. Policies vary between districts and we are aware that some have also written to couples to ask for guests to be tested.
Assuming the proposals are passed today, Covid passes won't be required by law for:
• Any type of wedding ceremony of any size
• Wedding receptions with less than 500 guests
• Wedding receptions of any size if organised by the couple
• Wedding receptions of any size in a private house or garden.
For wedding receptions with over 500 attendees organised by a wedding planner or the venue (not the couple), proof of vaccine or a recent test would be required by law for all attendees. This can be the NHS Covid Pass or an alternative proof of test result.
10/12/2021 Update: The First Minister is urging everyone to have their COVID-19 booster vaccine as he warned Wales is facing a new wave of infections caused by the Omicron variant. The First Minister will say, at his regular 21-day review press conference, to be held on Friday (December 10 2021), that even though only a handful of cases of Omicron have so far been confirmed in Wales, we must be prepared for cases to rise quickly and sharply. Omicron was first identified in South Africa just over two weeks ago. It has quickly spread around the world, including to the UK. There is now widespread community transmission in many parts of England and Scotland.
There are a number of other measures people can take to help protect themselves from coronavirus, including the new Omicron variant. The First Minister will ask people to take regular lateral flow tests before going out and to wear face coverings in all public places to help protect people in the lead up to Christmas. Wales will remain at alert level zero after the latest review of the COVID regulations. However, with the spread of the Omicron variant, the Welsh Government is strongly advising:
People flow before they go. This means taking a lateral flow test before going out – whether that’s to a Christmas party; Christmas shopping; visiting friends or family; going to any crowded or busy place or before travelling.
If the test is positive, don’t go out. Arrange for a PCR test and self-isolate. People to wear face coverings in pubs and restaurants, when they aren’t eating or drinking. Everyone must wear face coverings in most other indoor public places, in accordance with the law, including in cinemas and theatres.
The four things you can do to keep Wales safe The First Minister outlined what people can do to help. He said: Take a lateral flow test before going out – whether that’s to a Christmas party; Christmas shopping; visiting friends or family; going to any crowded or busy place or before travelling. If it’s positive, don’t go out. Arrange for a PCR test and self-isolate. Students preparing to leave college and university for Christmas should test before travel. Everyone should wear face coverings in pubs and restaurants, when they aren’t eating or drinking and in most other indoor public places, in line with the law, including in cinemas and theatres. Wherever you can, you should work from home.
Therefore, at Craig Y Nos Castle we have to decipher these rules and how they would affect our customers both attending the Castle for Weddings – including those who are staying the night before there wedding, those attending for Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and those who are spending time with us over Christmas. As follows the below will come into place from Saturday 11th December.
Weddings – Single Night or VIP Wedding Packages over 2 days
Face coverings are no longer required in wedding, civil partnership or alternative wedding ceremonies – however, as there is a requirement to wear Face Coverings now in Cinemas and Theatres we strongly suggest customers wear them, not least bring them to the Castle – this, so if the Registrar states that you have to, then you will have them available.
If you are checking in to the Castle the night prior to a wedding, we request that you wear a face covering whilst checking in and in any setting that is not primarily for serving food – this means we will not ask you to wear a mask in the Function room, The bar or the Conservatory – if you are in our Nicolini Lounge or Breakfast Lounge you will be required to wear a mask unless you are eating or drinking, for the duration of the day prior or after the Wedding Day itself. For the duration of the Wedding Day and Evening Celebration, as you will generally be eating and drinking you will not have to wear a mask, although, the suggestion is that you do, for your own safety. Hand Sanitisation should also be carried out.
What is the legal requirement? Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public places, and public transport, including taxis. You do not have to wear face coverings in places where food and drink is served, such as pubs, cafes and restaurants, whilst eating or drinking. You do not have to wear face coverings in wedding, civil partnership or alternative wedding ceremonies. Where food or drink is consumed in part of a premises, like a department store cafe, or hotel restaurant, you have to wear face coverings on the premises except in the area set aside for eating and drinking.
Dinner Bed and Breakfast and Guests staying the night before a Weddin(excluding a 2 day VIP)
Any guest checking in to the Castle will be required to wear a face covering. We request that you wear a face covering in any setting that is not primarily for serving food – this means we will not ask you to wear a mask in the Function room, whilst dining or in the bar or the Conservatory – if you are in our Nicolini Lounge or Breakfast Lounge you will be required to wear a mask unless you are eating or drinking.
Christmas Celebrations; Any guest checking in to the Castle will be required to wear a face covering.We request that you wear a face covering in any setting that is not primarily for serving food – this means we will not ask you to wear a mask in the Function room, whilst dining or in the bar or the Conservatory – if you are in our Nicolini Lounge or Breakfast Lounge you will be required to wear a mask unless you are eating or drinking.
It would be appreciated of course that you take a lateral flow test before coming to the Castle – If it’s positive, please do not travel. Arrange for a PCR test and self-isolate. The Welsh Government announced that they will know more about how much Omicron has come into Wales, and then we will make another set of decisions when we know the situation we are facing in a week's time – therefore the above rules are subject to change. We as a business think that following these guidelines will allow you to enjoy Weddings and Christmas Celebrations.
All of our Front of House and Wedding Team will be wearing masks especially when dealing with the public – this also means guests to the Castle for Wedding Viewings must wear masks as must any suppliers. Unless they are in the confines of our Reception, behind a screen or at the bar behind the screen. All other staff including our Housekeeping and Maintenance & Building Team will also be required to wear masks. Office staff that are able to work from home, should work from home.
Michael Ludwig, Business Systems and Procedures Manager
The regulations state that as a restaurant and bar meal – Christmas is NOT an event – so there is no Covid Pass requirement. There is No Covid Pass requirement for Wedding Celebrations.
The following are examples of the types of premises that are specifically exempted from the requirement. Premises at which:
• an outdoor event that does not require an entrance fee or ticket to attend is being held, and where the event site has multiple points of entry (this would cover, for example, a free fireworks display in a public park, or a farmers market)
• a protest or picket is being held
• a mass participation sporting event is being held outdoors (such as a marathon, triathlon or cycle race)
• the celebration of a marriage or civil partnership, or the life of a deceased person (when such celebrations are taking place) is taking place, for such time as the premises are either being used solely for that purpose or have a separate function area complete with all facilities to avoid mixing between guests attending the event and other people attending the premise. This does not include other life events (for example, birthdays)
• a drive in theatre
• a drive in cinema
A wedding venue, holding an evening reception, providing music for dancing until 1am. This event will not need to apply checks to those attending the wedding, provided there are separate facilities to avoid the need for guests to mingle with other people attending the premises. However, it could be considered as reasonable as part of the reasonable measures introduced to minimise transmission and spread of the virus as part of the coronavirus risk assessment for the event/activity, especially if there is a risk that wider mixing will take place. Wales remains at alert level Zero.
07/08/2021: Update - Wales to alert level zero.
Wales will move to alert level zero at 6am on 7 August, following the latest review of the coronavirus regulations in Wales. At alert level zero there is no legal limit on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events. Businesses which were required to be closed can re-open, including nightclubs. Premises will have more flexibility about which reasonable measures they take to minimise the risk of coronavirus, tailored to their risk assessment and their specific circumstances.
Face coverings will not be a legal requirement in hospitality settings where food and drink is served, but will be required in most indoor public places. Adults who are fully vaccinated and children and young people under 18 no longer need to isolate if they are identified as close contacts of someone who has coronavirus. We have yet to receive a Welsh Government Update specifically on weddings but within the Hotel itself, masks will not have to be worn whether eating, drinking or walking about. Masks become 'optional' in our function rooms, dining rooms, bar or lounges or conservatory as these are 'hospitality'. But masks will need to be worn within the Theatre or a Ceremony itself.
As not all customers and not all staff have yet had 2 jabs we'll retain our screens at bar and reception to help protect guests and staff. Hand Sanitiser stations remain. The law states we have to keep people safe so though there's no stated limit to numbers, we'll want to prevent 'crowding' of guests all together and maintain high ventilation. As long as wedding guests are seated there is sufficient spacing that would limit the spread of the virus. In the evening guests are allowed evening buffets, live bands, disco/dj and other entertainment.
The law however does state that anyone showing symptoms of the virus should not attend and if asked to self-isolate by track and trace, where they have had only 1 vaccination, then they should do so. Couples may also choose to invite guests to self-test prior to attending, though presentation of a negative test result to attend a wedding is not a 'requirement'. Lateral Flow Testing Kits can be ordered here: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
The POWYS Registrars Office state masks must still be worn in an indoor Wedding Ceremony. "Whilst the legal restrictions on the number of people who can meet indoors is expected to be removed, face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors in public places, including marriage/civil partnership ceremonies. A marriage/civil partnership ceremony is a public event and therefore staff and guests will be required to wear a face covering throughout the ceremony unless they are exempt. The rules for face coverings for marriage/civil partnership ceremonies therefore remain the same at Alert Level 0 – exceptions can only be made for the couple when walking down the aisle, vows, and photos indoors and first kiss."
We'll provide sanitiser at the entrance to theatre. The Ceremony space must allow sufficient working space and access for the Registrar and Assistant. The Theatre door will remain open. The Registrar can enter the Theatre from the side entrance (if required) and exit from the side, separate from the entrance used by the Wedding Couple or Wedding Guests. Meetings with the Registrars will be in an open and airy room Couples & Staff must wear a mask in any meetings.
All the staff at Craig Y Nos Castle look forward to be able to hold Weddings in a more relaxed, yet safe atmosphere.
15/07/2021: Update following Mark Drakeford's latest announcements - main lifting of restrictions postponed to 7th Aug for Wales.
Q: Will social distancing still be in legislation at alert level one? Mr Drakeford was asked about the law surrounding social distancing when Wales reaches alert level one.
ANS: He said: "What will be in legislation is for a requirement for a workplace to carry out a risk assessment and to take all reasonable measures to ensure that their workforce and customers are kept safe from coronavirus. Up until now, social distancing has been a slightly separate stand-alone requirement, from now on it will be one of the measures which a business can take. It will be included in the risk assessment and the measures it can take but it will be there alongside the other measures. It will not have disappeared but it will be navigated alongside all the other things which a business can choose to do."
Q: What must remain closed at alert level One?
ANS: “Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues."
Q: What changes from Saturday, August 7?
ANS: These changes are subject to the public health situation staying as it is now.There will no longer be legal limits on the number of people who can meet others indoors, including in private homes. All premises would be able to open and most – but not all – restrictions will be removed and replaced with the ongoing requirement for all organisations and businesses to carry out Covid risk assessments
Face coverings will no longer be needed in hospitality venues but will still be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport. There will no longer be a firm two metre social distancing rule for businesses and at events if Wales can enter alert level zero next month. At alert level zero, "The reasonable measures to be taken, such as physical distancing and other controls, will be for each organisation to consider depending on the nature of the premises and the risks of exposure to coronavirus identified".
The new coronavirus rules say that it will remain a legal requirement for a coronavirus-specific risk assessment to be carried out by businesses and other organisations which will manage the risk of exposure. "There is already a requirement for employers to ensure the safety of staff and the requirement for an additional coronavirus risk assessment should continue to complement this duty. The requirement to consult staff on the risk assessment will also be retained."
"Most significantly the regulations will no longer give particular prominence to two metre physical distancing as there may now be alternative ways of minimising risk". Mr Drakeford accepted in his press conference on Wednesday that his government is placing a greater emphasis on risk assessments and said it is a new obligation that once a risk assessment is created to ensure the things within it are put into practice. He said he expected that social distancing would continue to be used but said not always at a two metre distance as that isn't always feasible.
Q: What about table service?
ANS: Venues in Wales are still operating at reduced capacity. Hospitality venues unable to sustain the two metre rule have already had to put other mitigating measures in place such as screens, limited times for customers and cleaning schedules. They have also been required by law to have table service. The new rules released today applying from 7th August "will not set out specific requirements for licensed premises such as table service".
Q: And what about weddings?
ANS: Currently, indoor weddings and receptions can go ahead with as many guests as can safely socially distance indoors. It means for many couples there is still an effective cap on the number of their guests. Under the new rules from August 7, it would be up to each venue to determine whether social distancing still needs to be in place at the two metre distance or whether other measures could be put in its place. The risk assessment is a legal requirement and will mean an organiser has to identify the risks and any mitigating measures.
IN ESSENCE THERE IS LITTLE CHANGE TO NUMBERS INDOORS IN REAL TERMS AS SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MITIGATION IS STILL IN PLACE SO IT SEEMS STILL 6 TO A TABLE ALTHOUGH POSSIBLY THE ODD EXTRA TABLE CAN BE SQUEEZED IN. IN THE EVENING AGAIN A FEW MORE CAN COME AS WE ARE ALLOWED UP TO 200 BUT AGAIN THERE IS AN ELEMENT OF SOCIAL DISTANCING ALTHOUGH ALLOWING FOR PEOPLE TO STAND MEANS THEY CAN BE IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT AREAS. FOOD AND DRINKS THOUGH CAN STILL ONLY BE CONSUMED AT A TABLE.
With this round of Welsh Government Updates, and carefully considering what has been said - in my view it means very little to Wedding Venues. 1000 indoors - but, still social distancing. The number at a Ceremony remains the same - table numbers, debatable as 1000 people indoors but socially distanced with a risk assessment. No Nightclubs - meaning no disco, no dancing, no singing and no loud music. However, ambient background music, tables of 6 (specific rules) social distancing, masks and food and drink at tables only.
Roll on 7th August. We of course, look forward to holding your event. Remember we are still not fully open so the chat service or emails are best.
Wales is set to move fully into coronavirus alert level one from this Saturday, the Welsh Government has confirmed. It means a raft of lockdown restrictions will be eased including a significant increase in the number of people who can meet in private homes and attend indoor events.
Changes from Saturday - alert level one on Saturday July 17
Organised indoor events can take place for up to 1,000 seated.
Q: So do we have to stick to tables of 6?
ANS: Not 100% sure on the table numbers as it just says up to 1000. Personally I would try and keep it to tables of 6, but 1m apart to mitigate risks or, if they are from either a genuine family living in the same house you can have more than 6 or you can have 2 genuine extended households on same table.
Then some more changes from August 7
From Aug 7th there will be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet others indoors, including in private homes. All premises would be able to open and most, but not all, restrictions will be removed. Masks will not need to be worn in hospitality settings but will continue to be required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport. It means Wales is following a very similar timetable to Scotland which is set to lift all restrictions from August 9. The Coronavirus Control Plan has also been issued today setting out what Alert Level Zero will mean.
There will be no legal limits on the number of people who can meet others, including in private homes, public places or at events. All businesses and premises will be able to re-open. Carrying out a coronavirus risk assessment will continue to be a legal requirement for businesses, employers and event organisers. Businesses, employers and other organisations will still be required to take reasonable measures to manage the risk of coronavirus at their premises. The reasonable measures to be taken, such as physical distancing and other controls, will be for each organisation to consider depending on the nature of the premises and the risks of exposure to coronavirus identified.
People should continue to work from home wherever possible. If you are unwell you should self-isolate and get tested. Face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors in public places, such as on public transport, in shops and when accessing healthcare. The use of face coverings in the workplace should also be considered by businesses and employers as part of their coronavirus risk assessment.
- Facebook Review on 12/07/2021: "What can I say! Absolutely outstanding! Our wedding was postponed due to the pandemic and you couldn’t do enough for us to ease the stress! We finally had our day on the 21/06/2021 and it was absolutely perfect and more than we could of imagined! Your staff and everyone at the castle went above and beyond to make our day as special as possible and you definitely did that! Everything was stunning from the food, the venue, the service! We cannot thank you enough and will always remember how amazing our day was and that’s thanks to you all at Craig y Nos Castle! It definitely was a day to remember! Craig y Nos Castle will always hold many fantastic memories for us! We are so happy we chose you as our venue and recommend anyone looking to choose here they definitely won’t be disappointed. Wish you all the best. Mr. & Mrs Joseph." For more 2021 Facebook Wedding Reviews see here.
18/06/2021: Excerpt from Mark Drakeford's announcement on 17th June:
Wales’ world-leading vaccine programme will speed up second doses over the next 4 weeks – with a planned deployment of more than half a million doses to help prevent a fresh wave of serious illness as cases of coronavirus begin to rise.
The latest figures show there are almost 490 cases of the delta variant in Wales. More than 4 out 5 new Covid cases in Wales are the delta variant and two-thirds of these are not linked to travel or contact with another case, suggesting community spread.
Wales’ coronavirus case rate has risen steadily since the end of May and the positivity rate has more than doubled – but it remains the lowest in the UK. Mark Drakeford says: "In the space of just a few short weeks, the delta variant has entered Wales and quickly spread throughout the country. There is sustained and accelerating transmission, not just in North and South East Wales but in all parts of Wales. It is now the most dominant variant in new cases in Wales. We are once again facing a serious public health situation. We have the lowest coronavirus rates in the UK and the highest vaccination rates for first doses. A 4-week delay in relaxing restrictions could help to reduce the peak number of daily hospital
admissions by up to half, at a time when the NHS is very busy supporting all our healthcare needs – not just treating coronavirus.
..... Although there will be no substantive changes to the rules for a 4-week period – the regulations will be reviewed again on 15 July – some small technical amendments are being made to the coronavirus regulations to make them easier to understand and easier to apply for businesses. These include:
Wales's current wedding rules:
1. No physical contact unless in same bubble.
2. No dancing allowed, but a specific exception can be made to allow a first dance for the couple themselves.
3. Singing, chanting or dancing is not permitted.
4. Background music at low volume can be played during the ceremony and reception.
5. Wedding Photographs wherever possible should be taken outdoors.
6. Close group shots of wedding guests are not allowed unless organised in extended households.
7. The number of people who can attend a wedding or civil partnership reception or wake, organised by a business in an indoors regulated premise, such as a hotel, will be determined by the size of the venue and a risk assessment.
The First Minister added: This week, we reached the target of offering all eligible adults their first dose vaccine 6 weeks ahead of schedule. But those offers won’t help protect people, unless everyone turns up for their first and second dose appointments. I would urge everyone to take up their invitation for a vaccine and to complete the full 2-dose course. It’s the best way we can protect ourselves against this virus.
Martin adds: Oddly there is no suggestion guests should take a lateral flow test the day before attending a wedding, even though this is a twice weekly requirement for our school children over a certain age. And this has also been the system for testing COVID spread at large public events. For your own guests' peace of mind, encouraging everyone to take a free lateral flow test before and after the wedding, would appear a sensible additional safety precaution, but this is just my personal view and not a 'requirement'.
The following controls remain unchanged:
• social distancing
• adequate ventilation
• frequent cleaning
• good hand hygiene
We have since considered what our new wedding guest limits might be (from Monday) and this is what Michael (Business Systems Manager) has worked out we can do:
- Venues are required to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. For example:
- customers will be encouraged to pre-book with details of all members of the group.
- contact details will be required for contact tracing purposes
- entry to the premises will be controlled
- licenced premises, such as pubs, will be providing table service only
- all food and drink should be consumed at tables
- physical distancing measures will be applied, such as tables being spaced out
- face coverings must be worn other than when seated to eat or drink
- You can visit indoor spaces of hospitality venues such as cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars with people you live with or in a group of up to six people from up to six households (not including children under 11 or carers from any of these households).
- However, if you wanted to visit hospitality venues indoors with people you do not live with, but are part of your extended household, that gathering should contain no more than six people from up to six households at any one time (excluding any carers or children under 11 from any of these households).
So we can confirm 100% at the moment.
- Theatre - 84 in 7 rows of 6 each side.
- Function Room - 60 max, if 6 per table (of course this goes lower if people are down to 2, 3 or 4 per table)
- Conservatory - currently 60 on 10 tables of 6.
But if people have less than 6 per table for instance, then the numbers could be reduced on account of a need for more tables that won't then fit. We have to discuss table plans with each wedding, especially if you take into account kids etc, they are excluded from the number, but still have to be included when distancing!
We should all be grateful we can essentially double from Monday, what we can have today (from 30 to 60). Martin adds: in theory you could use both rooms, doubling the total of 60, but this means splitting the wedding party in two.
17/06/2021: A Covid wedding review: "We'd just like to send our heartfelt thanks to you and all of the team there at Craig Y Nos for making our day so special. We will always remember it as one the happiest day of our lives. Despite the restrictions in place at the time it really didn't feel like a covid wedding and we really have you guys to thank for that!"
Also: At the previous lockdown review, when Wales started to move into Alert Level One, Mr Drakeford said he hoped to announced that up to six people would be able to meet inside private homes from June 21. Other changes would have seen more people to attend indoor events and re-opening ice skating rinks. But as cases are now rising significantly, there are not expected to be any big changes to the rules for the next month. Mr Drakeford is expected to give a press conference updating Wales on his plans tomorrow, Friday, June 18.
14/06/2021 21:24 hrs: While lockdown is being extended for 4 weeks, per Boris Johnson's announcement tonight, the news for weddings is reasonably optimistic. Wales of course will make its own announcements on 21st June. If Wales follows suit and allows wedding numbers to be limited only by the venue's 'social distancing capacity', then our policy of combining an outside marquee alongside the windows of the Conservatory will increase capacity well above the current 30 guest limit. We will only know the allowable guest numbers once we get confirmation from Mark Drakeford on the rules for Wales. 21st June is the next date for Wales's own rule change announcements. Dancing in the evening could still be an issue, as it is in England. In England, dancing is legally not allowed inside, but Wales’s rules may differ. Until Mark Drakeford confirms any relaxation, we have been informed (below) that what happens in England may not be followed in Wales.
04/06/2021: No change to weddings in Wales, no more news until 21st June. Wales may NOT follow whatever England does!
Well 7th June, was the date we (or at least I and probably most of Wales) were expecting that there was going to be some movement in Wedding numbers - specifically the increase from 30 to 50 indoors and from 50 to 100 Outdoors. Last night 3rd June, Mark Drakeford decreed that whilst Wales is moving into Alert Level 1 (good news), he is doing it with a phased approach (bad news).
This is not good for the Wedding Industry, where people expect to be able to get married with more than 30 of their friends and family at their Wedding Breakfast. Up to, and even after 21st June it seems this is not going to happen.
"The move to alert level one will be phased, with outdoor events opening first. Ministers will review the public health situation again, ahead of June 21, to determine whether indoor events can restart"
"The first phase of the move to alert level one means that from Monday June 7: Up to 30 people can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, outdoor hospitality and public places." On 21st June, there is another review where it is hoped that, "The Welsh Government will consider further changes to the regulations on indoor activity later in the month, if public health conditions allow. These include:
• Rule of six for meeting indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.
• Increased numbers for indoor organised gatherings and indoor events."
• Large outdoor events are set to go ahead once again in the latest announcement of lockdown changes in Wales.
• More people will also be allowed to meet outdoors, with things like parkrun being allowed to resume.
• Outdoor events such as concerts, football matches and sporting activities can go ahead for up to 4,000 people non-seated and 10,000 people seated.
• The size of extended households can be increased to up to three households, and a further household with a single adult or single adult with caring responsibilities will also be able to join.
• The First Minister will announce the changes at a press conference on Friday afternoon.
• The wedding industry has been left out of the recent review.
Advice for all weddings who want more than 30 is now for all the remaining weddings in July to ensure they have a pencilled in date further ahead, while those with pencilled in dates, may sadly now wish to fully postpone, as with nothing further announced till 21st June, none of us can really plan for anything with any degree of certainty. We are taking advice on what is allowed inside (and the rules will likely change on 21st June) but it seems the evening party may be held outside in the evenings, as if a concert for 4,000 is allowed outside, then it follows you can have as many as you like for a disco outside. But the weather is a bit of an issue in Wales. As most weddings to mid July have now postponed anyway, we are hoping that 'ending restrictions' will be just a couple of weeks delay, rather than dragging on much longer, otherwise all our Summer weddings will likely move to an 'outside disco' after the formal sit-down wedding breakfast.
22/02/2021: Update following Boris Johnsons' latest Road Map (None of the below can now be relied upon as Wales appears to be diverging from England's roadmap).
Basically large weddings with no limit on numbers cannot take place till 21st June 2021, though Wales may not follow England's and Boris Johnson's "road map".
Three caveats to this:
1. The dates are not cast in stone and the various 'stages' back to normality can be delayed if the COVID data does not support lifting restrictions on the original dates planned.
2. The Welsh Government will not necessarily follow England's lead and may have different dates and number limits. Wales might even allow larger weddings 'earlier', or 'later' - Wales' rules will probably be slightly different.
3. The 21st June date for normal weddings to resume is not guaranteed, but certainly weddings before this date, other than for our Intimate Wedding Package, cannot go ahead as originally planned. For the sake of three or four months, postponement to after June 21st, given how long the perfect wedding is planned for, and given most of our couples have already had to postpone once or twice already to get their perfect day as planned, would seem to be the obvious step to take. This does fit in with our earlier advice (given in January) that all weddings up to end of June should postpone.
The Road Map Explained (notwithstanding Wales will doubtless publish its own possibly different version and timings):
In March, Step 1 allows weddings of six people, which is of no interest to us or our couples!
From April 12, provided UK enters Step 2 then, weddings are allowed for 15 guests, which again is of no interest to us or our couples who have typically 80 - 120 guests invited for their wedding. (They say funerals allow more guests because, "people cannot pick and choose a funeral." - not a helpful comment for Couples who have postponed twice already).
From May 17, in Step 3, you can have 30 guests. Few of our couples would want just 30 guests but this does now allow the Intimate Wedding Package for new bookings. For existing bookings this will be of little interest to most Couples who have probably twice that number of guests invited, given that in a little over one more month, you can have as many as you like to your wedding. However the option of a two day wedding might appeal to some (see 'one idea' below).
From June 21, Step 4, there will be no legal limits on social contact at weddings. The road map is divided into four steps, with each set five weeks apart, in order to allow each step to be data led.
We expect Wales will come up with different rules at some point. Mark Drakeford (chap who decides the rules in Wales) added his own dollop of uncertainty to the whole process with this tweet:
- "When the Prime Minister sets out his roadmap today, please note this applies to England only. Here in Wales we announced last week that we're using the next 3 weeks to get more students back to school / college and looking at options for re-opening shops and hairdressers. Diolch."
So he has not thought of weddings yet and Wales might well follow a very different 'roadmap!' For now, in the absence of anything else, we will work on the basis Boris's roadmap will be representative of what happens in Wales - more because we all need 'some' certainty, even if it is not really that clear.
The 'data' may delay some of these dates. Or it could even go the other way and we may open up sooner. Micromanaging your guest numbers by Government decree could become politically contentious, but all venues must follow the rules.
Therefore our advice remains unchanged from below; weddings up to the end of June (or up to 21st now!) are advised to fully postpone, weddings in July and August should pencil in forward dates just in case, but at least July weddings can have SOME optimism their date can go ahead. We would not 100% bank on this yet, which is why we recommend July weddings certainly should pencil in a second reserve date now, just in case the road map gets delayed a couple of months.
Please now read the rest of the advice below as it remains essentially the same.