Letter to Wedding Venues from Dr Rupert Suckling

A letter to wedding venues from the Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council following the four-week delay in the government's roadmap.

Dear Business Owner,

Following the government announcement regarding the four-week delay in the roadmap out of lockdown, I wanted to take this opportunity to write to wedding venues in the borough.

It is welcome news for the sector that the limit of 30 people at weddings is to be lifted from Monday 21 June, 2021 and I am sure the couples who have planned their special day with you will be excited to progress with their plans after what has been an incredibly difficult time for us all.

However, it is important to note the latest government guidance, which means:

  • Indoor and outdoor professional performances can take place, including at a wedding ceremony or reception, with social distancing measures in place between performers and guests.
  • Dancing is advised against due to the increased risk of transmission, except the couple’s ‘first dance’. Indoor dancefloors and other spaces for dancing must remain closed, but can be repurposed for additional customer seating, ensuring this is in line with social distancing guidelines.
  • All food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed by the customer while seated at a table

Further details about the changes to restrictions for your sector can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#weddings-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies-and-receptions

I appreciate that some of these measures will cause frustration for you and your customers.

Weddings should be happy, carefree events and we all want couples to have the day they’ve imagined for so long. However, the ongoing pandemic means precautions do need to be put in place to make sure everyone stays safe and well, and the risk of spreading Covid-19 is minimised.

Therefore, I would urge you to continue to encourage appropriate behaviour and to manage the risks at your venue wherever possible, including:

  • Carrying out a full risk assessment prior to each event to identify potential transmission points. All third-party suppliers should do this, too.
  • Asking couples to encourage guests to not attend their wedding if they are feeling unwell, and to follow the guidance around getting tested
  • Couples could also be encouraged to ask guests to take an LFT test prior to attending their event
  • Ensuring hand sanitisation facilities are available throughout the venue and encouraging frequent use, especially before and after using items such as guest books, games or polaroid camera stations
  • Ensuring places where people are gathering are as well ventilated as possible, opening windows and doors and removing or rolling up the sides of marquees. Please note, at least 50 percent of the wall area of the marquee must be open for the venue to be classed as ‘outdoors’

Once again, I understand that the continuation of government restrictions will be frustrating for you as a wedding venue, as well as for your customers.

I would like to thank you personally for your patience and cooperation during this time, as well as everything you are doing to help us keep rates as low as possible here in Doncaster. It is very much appreciated.

We all want to support couples who have been waiting so long to have their dream day and, by balancing the risks, I’m sure we can enable them to celebrate in a way that’s perfect for them.

Thank you again for everything you are doing. Let’s keep going, and Do it for Doncaster.

Kind regards,

Dr Rupert Suckling
Director of Public Health


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