Imagine the happy day. The bride is halfway down the aisle when she stops to blame a guest who is not wearing a face mask before checking that the hand sanitizer is clearly visible. Only then does she continue her journey to marital happiness.
New government guidelines for weddings of 30+ people put responsibility on the hosts, who “can be the couple” to ensure they are Covid-compliant.
The new rules require organizers to complete a risk assessment form prior to getting married, with the threat of £ 10,000 fines if guests violate social distancing rules.
According to a sample risk assessment form posted on the government website, wedding organizers are told, “You should not allow the dancing. Everyone should be seated when eating and drinking. “
The government says that the risk assessment should be carried out by the organizer, “who should be someone who is able to take the practical steps required as part of the risk assessment and can attend the event itself”.
However, if the designated organizer “cannot attend” then “an appropriate person should be identified to ensure that the event is conducted in accordance with the risk assessment and regulations”.
The guide adds, “This could be the couple if the event is being organized in a garden of a private home, but it could also be someone else who is involved in organizing or running the event, e.g. B. a wedding planner. “
Risk assessments must be carried out “in good time”
The risk assessment template released by the government is designed to help individuals host an event for 30 or more people in places such as gardens in private homes and marquees in fields. The form must be filled out “in good time” before the marriage and then kept for 28 days.
“By the day of your event, you should make sure that you have put in place all of the controls that you identified in your risk assessment,” the instructions for the expectant couple state.
Hazards identified on the sample form include “poor hygiene (hands)”, “crowded areas or” pinch points “,” poor hygiene (surfaces) “,” social distancing is difficult to maintain “and” poorly ventilated space “.
It suggests that both “participants” and “workers” are at risk, and then lists measures that should be taken to mitigate the outward threat.
For example, organizers could “encourage people to wear face-covering inside, especially around people they would not normally meet” to increase the chance that the newlyweds are trying to monitor the guests and make sure that strangers only introduce themselves while they are wearing masks.
Weddings should only be conducted with one-way queuing systems and “tiered times” for groups as they move through the venue. Organizers are advised to “identify surfaces that are likely to be touched frequently,” such as handrails or door handles, and keep them clean throughout the event.
The government suggests keeping all non-fire doors open at the venues.