COVID Update for Wedding Restrictions
This article is written on the 30th of August, 2020 with the most up to date information, as per the most recent government updates, on the 29th of August, 2020. There will be further blog posts regarding any changes to keep everyone updated.
Okay so by this point, with all the recent restriction changes, you may just be simply confused about what restrictions affect you and your wedding. Being Gold Coast wedding planners, we have decided to look at the most recent updates regarding Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Greater Brisbane. If you are not located within this region, please refer to health.gov here for government information on your state or area.
Now let’s look at these new restrictions
It was announced August 22nd, 2020 that the QLD government has restricted private, in-home and public social gathering to 10 persons in restricted areas and elsewhere, in QLD, to 30 persons. The Gold Coast was added to this list as of 8am 29th August, 2020. These directions have been stated to be in place until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless it is revoked or replaced. Now, for those of you thinking “Wait, am I in a restricted area? Where are the restricted areas?!”, the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) have been listed as restricted areas, including those to be added as of 8am 31st of August, 2020:
- Brisbane City Local Government Area
- Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Local Government Area —from 8.00am on 31 August 2020
- Gold Coast City Local Government Area
- Goondiwindi Region Local Government Area —from 8.00am on 31 August 2020
- Ipswich City Local Government Area
- Lockyer Valley Local Government Area
- Logan City Local Government Area
- Moreton Bay Local Government Area
- Redland City Local Government Area
- Scenic Rim Regional Local Government Area
- Somerset Region Local Government Area
- South Burnett Region Local Government Area —from 8.00am on 31 August 2020
- Southern Downs Region Local Government Area —from 8.00am on 31 August 2020
- Toowoomba Region Local Government Area —from 8.00am on 31 August 2020
- Western Downs Region Local Government Area —from 8.00am on 31 August 2020
These restrictions have been implemented to target people gathering anywhere for a private or public social gathering and trust us when we say that we, as wedding and event planners, share your frustration. So, let’s explore a little bit about what these restrictions mean for your wedding exactly.
“What restrictions affect my wedding now?”
Your wedding, whether it is at your private residence or outdoors in public, falls under these new restrictions. These restrictions are supplemental to the previous directions, meaning that these boundaries are now added to the ongoing old Stage 3 restrictions from 24th of July, 2020. However, the good news is, if a business is engaged to mange the event and is operating under an approved COVID Safe Plan (i.e. the Wedding Industry COVID Safe Plan), then the ceremony and reception may have more people attend. To clarify a little bit, a maximum of up to 100 people may attend wedding ceremonies that are conducted under a COVID Safe Plan, regardless of the size or place of the venue. Although, this is as long as social or physical distancing restrictions can be met and maintained. If you’re wondering why weddings managed by a business can have more guests attend, this is because all businesses have to comply with the COVID Safe Framework which sets out requirements to be adhere to in order to run an event. This same level of safeguard is simply not able to be mandated in a private setting.
“What happens if my event is not managed by a business working under the COVID Safe Framework?”
When it comes to areas within the restricted Local Government Areas, wedding services on the person’s residence may have a maximum of 10 people in attendance, including the couple, if there is no COVID Safe Plan in place. Wedding services performed at a person’s residence within an area NOT of the restricted Local Government Areas, may have a maximum of 30 people attend, in the absence of a COVID Safe Plan. No matter whether the wedding is operating under a COVID Safe Plan or not, a record of names and contact details of each guest, for contact tracing, must be recorded and kept for 56 days after the wedding. Furthermore, the government has declared that there will be no exemptions for weddings.
“Do I have to hire a wedding planner to have a COVID Safe Plan in place or can I obtain one myself”
Unfortunately, COVID Safe Plans are industry specific and are not available to individuals, only businesses. To further explain, you need to hire a wedding or event manager in order to implement a COVID Safe Plan. However, if this is something you would like to happen, you must communicate with the vendor to ensure they are 100% confident and happy to do this. You must also be aware that extra staff may be required to implement certain parts of the COVID Safe Checklist and their presence will not only be included in the maximum count of people, but will also be required for the setup, duration and end of the event (which may increase their cost for their time).
“Is Sugar & Spice Events operating as a business who can implement a COVID Safe Plan?”
We here at Sugar & Spice Events, are happy to announce that we can offer this service to our clients. If you are wanting this service, please contact us so we can talk you through what needs to be done in order to implement this. We are able to ensure your wedding is adhering to all of the COVID Safe plan and checklist points and we will be able to direct you in how we will need to proceed, during the planning of your wedding, to remain within these restrictions.
The wedding industry has taken a hit and we as wedding planners understand how frustrating it can already be to plan a wedding. It is our privilege to help our clients through understanding these restrictions and employing what needs to be implemented, in order for you to still have your dream wedding.