COVID 19 update

Introduction

This guidance is designed to assist people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England, and venues that host ceremonies and receptions, to enable them to conduct them in a manner that reduces the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

This guidance applies to all weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and formations taking place in England as well as wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations.

Alternative wedding ceremonies that are not binding under the law, whether religious, belief based, blessings, or other forms of non-statutory ceremony, are also covered by this guidance.

People should refer to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-wedding-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies-receptions-and-celebrations for further information.

Keeping yourself and others safe

It’s important that we all use personal judgement to manage our own risk. All of us can play our part by exercising common sense and considering the risks. There are steps everyone can take to reduce the risk of transmission:

  1. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, even if they’re mild, should not attend. This includes the couple, attendees, and anyone working or involved in the ceremony or reception. They should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.

  2. If someone has been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate they must self-isolate and not attend. Please refer to guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

  3. People should wear a face covering in enclosed and crowded spaces. People are encouraged to respect other attendees and those working at events who may wish to adopt a more cautious approach. Please refer to the guidance on how to stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 for further information and the actions to take to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19.

  4. The NHS COVID-19 app is a vital part of NHS Test and Trace in England and Wales. Using the app helps stop the spread of the virus by informing you that you have been in close contact with someone who has since tested positive for coronavirus, even if you don’t know each other.

Singing, music, and performances

There are no limits on the number of people who can sing or perform indoors or outdoors. However, some activities can also increase the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19. This happens where people are doing activities which generate more particles as they breathe heavily, such as singing, dancing, exercising or raising their voices.

The risk is greatest where these activities take place when people are in close contact with others, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are raising their voices.

In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, you should be particularly careful to follow the guidance on keeping yourself and others safe.

Where a venue or part of a venue is being used for an event where the main activities include eating, drinking and dancing, face coverings are not required.

Businesses and venues

All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.

Employers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks identified. Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:

  • cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly

  • identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow

  • ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue

  • communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place