Weddings are set to be whole lot less fun under regulations proposed by the industry to get hospitality back to work again after the coronavirus pandemic.
Weddings are set to be whole lot less fun under regulations proposed by the industry to get hospitality back to work again after the coronavirus pandemic.

The weird COVID rules set to govern weddings

Wedding guests would need to practice social distancing on the dancefloor and there would be strict rules for cutting the cake, under a plan presented to government to open the events to as many as 100 people.

Industry put the proposal to the state government's restriction-busting ministers yesterday in an effort to reboot the sector, which generates $1 billion of activity in the state each year.

Up to 20 people can now attend weddings in NSW, but the industry is calling for further easing of restrictions, in-line with rules for pubs and clubs.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association CEO Wes Lambert said the 6,500 people employed in events and catering have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Brides will have to adjust rules for their weddings under new government COVID-19 regulations. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Brides will have to adjust rules for their weddings under new government COVID-19 regulations. Picture: Rohan Kelly

"There is an opportunity to safely reopen these types of events to get business back in business and people back to work," Mr Lambert told The Daily Telegraph.

Under the proposal for COVID-safe weddings, caterers and staff would follow similar hygiene practices as restaurants and pubs.

Couples would need two wedding cakes - one for the ceremonial cutting, and one for serving to guests.

Even the dance floor would operate under strict COVID conditions.

"Social distancing should be followed with reasonable exceptions in place (e.g. first dance, father-daughter dance)," the proposal to government says.

"If we keep them the guidelines upfront, (clients) will be compliant," Doltone House Group Executive Chairman Paul Signorelli said.

"Even if we have to open up differently, at least there's a celebration taking place."

The traditional cutting of the wedding cake will be radically changed under the new guidelines.
The traditional cutting of the wedding cake will be radically changed under the new guidelines.

Senior ministers wouldn't be drawn on the proposal when contacted by The Daily Telegraph last night.

"Easing of restrictions is subject to expert health advice. Any proposal received by the NSW Government will be considered in consultation with Health NSW," a government spokesman said.

The Doltone House group, which runs 30 event spaces and employs 500 people, has had to put its events on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Signorelli said event planners should at least be able to operate under the same rules as pubs or clubs, which are able to cater for up to 50 people per dining area.

"If anything, we are more controlled," Mr Signorelli said.

"We know exactly who's in the room (and) who they are related to."

No large-scale weddings are likely until later in the year.
No large-scale weddings are likely until later in the year.

Even if restrictions are lifted by July, Mr Signorelli said larger weddings are unlikely to take place until later in the year.

"Give us the opening dates, give us the consent to open. And that way we can gradually build from that," he said.

While weddings are still on hold, suppliers are also feeling the pinch, Mr Signorelli said.

"My butcher, my baker, my cake decorator, my cake supplier, the florist, even the DJ … unless we open up, these other businesses won't survive."

Originally published as The weird COVID rules set to govern weddings


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