Wales Update after Firebreak - announced 3rd November
On Tuesday 3rd November at 16.15 we heard hearing rumours and was yet to have official confirmation – naturally I can understand any customer frustration in being in a state of limbo where anything booked may need to be cancelled or postponed.
"Certain organised activities for groups of up to 15 people indoors, and 30 people outdoors, will be allowed, with risk assessments and all reasonable measures taken to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus," he said. "These activities will not be able to involve the sale or consumption of alcohol. "There will be a separate exception for up to 15 people to attend a reception for a wedding or civil partnership or a funeral wake, but these should involve a sit down meal."
Certain organised activities for groups of up to 15 people indoors, and 30 people outdoors, will be allowed with risk assessments and all reasonable measures taken to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus. These activities will not be able to involve the sale or consumption of alcohol.
Confirmed by the Welsh Government
Today First Minister, Mark Dreyford, made a statement to the Senedd on the next steps after the current firebreak period where he reiterated that the current firebreak restrictions will end on Monday 9 November. He also outlined the measures that will take place once the firebreak is over. This includes:
Permission for people to travel once again, although the government is not encouraging this. Travel to and from England will be prohibited while English lockdown is in place.
All premises including, pubs cafes and restaurants, that were closed pre-firebreak can reopen. There will be a legal requirement to take all available measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Government is also advising that people visit these venues in as small a group as possible. For many it will be just those who they live with.
Groups of up to 4 people can meet in a regulated setting. This will be subject to strict protections that have been consulted on with the sector, including advance bookings, time slots and identification. This will be kept under continual review. Dependent on the actions of the sector and the actions of people.
The 10pm end of alcohol sales will remain in place in Wales.
Organised activities for groups of up to 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors will be allowed. But, once again, risk assessments will be needed to be carried out in advance, and all reasonable measures taken to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading the virus, and these activities will not be able to involve the sale or consumption of alcohol.
There will be a separate exception for up 15 people to attend a reception for a wedding or civil partnership or a funeral wake, and children under 11 will not count towards the limits on meeting others in these regulated settings.
It was confirmed that these conditions will be reviewed after two weeks.
How does this affect us.
This compounded with Wales not allowing visitors from England or Scotland has made events in November hard to plan, not least there is to a be a review in the next 2 weeks.
(1) If you have a wedding/ceremony booked at the Castle within the next 2 weeks and you either are unable to reduce to 15 or you have guests from England or Scotland – then we will not be able to hold your event – children under 11 are excluded from this number so you can have more “people”
If your event was postponed from earlier in the year and you do not have a back up pencilled date or you do not wish to postpone further, then you are entitled to a refund. This though, will not apply to any weddings or events that have been brought forward.
Our Wedding Manager will be contacting affect wedding couples directly
(2) If you have any accommodation booked within the next 2 weeks, then we will have to cancel this, as it is not cost effective to operate if we have a half empty Castle.
(3) If you have an event after 2 weeks but during the period up to 2nd December, then (1) above may still apply and you can postpone if you wish to do so, or you can tentatively hold out for any amendments to the regulations.
(4) If your wedding is after 2nd December (as we are unsure what Wales will do, nor how the removal of the English Lockdown in December will affect weddings) you have the option of holding out, or offering an alternative pencilled in date or confirming a postponement. You can also have a Ceremony only (within any prescribed limits) with a full celebration at a later time.
(5) If, you do not wish to postpone and on the date of your currently planned wedding the regulations are such that a wedding cannot go ahead or go ahead in full – then you have the following options
a. Postpone your wedding to another date up to October 31st 2023
b. Hold a wedding up to the prescribed limit paying ONLY for the prescribed limit, and have a refund for any overpayment*, if you choose to cancel and NOT have the wedding for the prescribed limit then cancellation will take place in accordance with your contract but only for the prescribed limit (at the date of your wedding)
c. If, we are unable to hold your wedding because either Wales or yourself are in a full lockdown period or lockdown area and you do not wish to postpone then we will refund you in full.
The above is a non-contractual policy that we have introduced in order to allow free postponements and negate the loss of any payments, deposits or balances held, we will work with out clients to ensure where possible something can be worked out that is mutally beneficial to both parties taking into account individual circumstances.
(6) If you have booked any Accommodation or events such as Christmas, and where overall numbers permit the event going ahead the following applies (based on current legislation).
a. Tables will only be for a maximum of “any 4 people”
(7) If you are attending any Ghost Tours, you are now permitted to have a group of 15, per tour operator you will be able to have a meal in accordance with ordinary dining rules – however, alcohol will not be permitted once you have finished dining.
Under all circumstance’s alcohol will not be served after 10pm.
The above is not exhaustive and is subject to change.
|WELSH FIREBREAK - LOCKDOWN|
23/10/20 - 09/11/20
|Please click any of the headings/links below|
All our Wedding Customers will be contact shortly if they have any weddings or ceremonies in the above period, or shortly after with options as to postponement or cancellation. We are by law not allowed to open.
All Ghost tours have been cancelled, this include our G.O.D tours during the above dates, and our own Halloween Tours and G.H.O.S.Ts
You will be contacted shortly about these cancellations and where deposits have been paid, these will be refunded.
We are unable to open for accommodation - this means you will be contacted shortly about the cancellation of any Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, Bed and Breakfast Accommodation during these dates.
|Restaurant and Bar|
In line with the whole hospitality trade, during the period above we are unable to open at all to serve any food and drink.
|Frequently Asked Questions||Our staff will be adhering to the guidelines and working from home where possible - this means that with limited staffing we apologise in advance if you cannot get through straightaway and we aim to get back to you within 48 hours either by email or phone.|
CRAIG Y NOS CASTLE IS IN POWYS. UNAFFECTED BY LOCAL LOCKDOWNS
WHILST IN WALES
"The new measures announced in Wales"
Pubs, cafes, restaurants and casinos (and any other hospitality businesses) will have to close at 10pm. They will also have to provide table service only. This applies from Thursday at 6pm - this can be confirmed here
Off-licences, including supermarkets, will also have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm
The First Minister also asked people to only travel when you need to do so, saying: "The fewer people we meet and the fewer journeys we make, the safer we all are." However, other than in the areas already locked down in Wales, which are subject to specific restrictions on travel, this is not currently a set rule that applies across Wales and is more guidance.
"Rules and guidance already in place in Wales"
You must work from home wherever possible
You can only meet six people indoors, and make sure that those six people are all part of your extended household
You must wear face coverings on public transport, in shops, and in enclosed public spaces
VERIFIED HERE 22/09/20:
The Current Wedding Guidelines for Wales can be read here : https://gov.wales/operational-risk-assessment-considerations-wedding-venues-and-those-hosting-wedding-events-html indicating Weddings in Wales can go ahead with 30 Guests at the Ceremony and 30 Guests at the Wedding Reception.
CLICK HERE TO READ MARK DRAKEFORDS WEDDING CLARIFICATION WHEN ASKED IF ANYTHING ABOUT NUMBERS WAS ALTERED
SO IN ENGLAND
Whilst you may be aware new regulations were announced by Boris Johnson in so far that restrictions in England have changed:
- Wedding celebrations will be limited to just 15 guests, half of what was previously permitted, though funerals will be allowed to go ahead with up to 30 mourners.
- Masks will become mandatory for retail and hospitality staff – as well as for passengers in taxis – a key demand of the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who spoke to Johnson on Tuesday morning.
- As well as a 10pm closing time for pubs, bars and restaurants in England which was announced overnight, takeaway collections will also be closed from 10pm though deliveries will be allowed to continue and pubs will only be allowed to offer table service, which will be enforced by law. Venues will be required by law to enforce the “rule of six” and social distancing.
- The rule, which comes into force on Thursday, will mean venues must shut their doors at 10pm, rather than just call for last orders.
“This is by no means a return to the full lockdown in March, we are not issuing instructions to stay at home,” Johnson said, stressing that schools and businesses should remain open.
“But we are once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so,” he said, though stressed key workers should continue to attend workplaces.
No specific end date has been announced although Boris Johnson sets out new Covid restrictions to last 'perhaps six months'.
This announcement currently ONLY covers England, and currently as at 22/09/20 does NOT apply to Wales, where our own rules and regulations are in force specifically a higher number of Wedding Guests being 30 at present.
We will keep all our customers informed on request, by email and information, announcements and downloads can be seen here:
https://craigynoscastle.com/craig-y-nos-coronavirus-news.html here https://www.craigynoscastleweddings.com/coronavirus.html
We cannot advise you as to when we think restrictions will be altered or how they may affect weddings in the future, but we have a number of options in place to allow for Wedding Postponements and Reductions.
In Wales updates are currently every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and our website is updated accordingly and will be posted here tommorow afternoon!
Michael Ludwig - Business Systems and Procedures Manager
(It was 6 months to the very day, that we served the last pint in the Castle)
11th September 2020
It was announced today by Mark Drakeford a further set of measures, based on the apparent rise in Coronavirus cases in Wales, similar too but not exactly the same as that in England.
Full details can be read here https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/coronavirus-lockdown-drakeford-updates-six-18915251
The main measures are
The new measures in Wales fall into four areas, and the First Minister gave an outline of them, including the decision on face masks and what will happen if people repeatedly refuse to wear one:
1. Work from home wherever possible
Mr Drakeford said that it had never been the Welsh Government policy to encourage people to return to the workplace if they can continue to work from home or remotely.
He added: “The message from across our border has been to go back to the office. This is not our message.
“We want people to carry on working from home if they can. The fewer people we come into contact with, the lower the risk of the virus spreading.”
2. Reduce the number of people meeting indoors
The Test Trace Protect system in Wales has shown the main cause of transmission for the virus in recent weeks has been people meeting other people indoors.
Mr Drakeford said: “This has been at the heart of the sharp rise in cases in Caerphilly borough and we’ve seen similar cases across Wales.
“To help break this cycle of infection and prevent the spread of coronavirus, we will change the rules on meeting indoors. From Monday, a new limit of six people will be introduced on the number of people who can meet indoors at any one time.”
The rules are:
All six must belong to the same exclusive extended household group.
Extended household groups can still be made from up to four households joining together, but only six people can meet at any one time.
Children under 11 will not be included in our rule of six.
Indoor gatherings of more than six people will therefore be against the law in Wales.
3. Face coverings
It has already been announced earlier today, but the First Minister confirmed that face coverings will become compulsory in indoor public places, such as shops, in Wales, from Monday.
There will be exemptions for primary school-aged children and for people with health conditions.
Mr Drakeford added: “People who knowingly and deliberately flout the law in Wales could face fines of up to £1,920 for repeat offences.”
4. New powers for local authorities
Finally, the First Minister said the Welsh Government will be giving local authorities new powers to take action themselves to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
He said: “Most people have worked hard and complied with the rules. But a small minority haven’t.
“These new powers, which will come into force on Monday, will allow local authorities to close premises or stop events happening on public health grounds.
“These powers will enable local authorities to move quickly to respond to outbreaks of the virus in their areas, for example where a number of cases are linked to a particular premise or as a preventative measure, where there is a high risk of outbreak.”
How this will affect us and any bookings at the Castle
We would ask all visitors to the Castle to wear face coverings (unless they are exempt from doing so) apart from when dining or drinking.
Funeral and weddings not affected by new rule
The Wales First Minister said that funerals and wedding would not be affected by the new rule of six. In Wales, wedding receptions of up to 30 people are allowed. If a place of worship is too small to safely admit a congregation, it might be able to arrange a larger gathering of up to 30 participants outdoors with appropriate measures in place.
Accommodation & Dining
Our Dinner Bed and Breakfast deals, which were only available on Special Offer Dates, primarily when other events were taking place can still take place providing that, the maximum occupancy of any one room is no more than 6 and “All six must belong to the same exclusive extended household group” and that when dining there are NO tables of more than 6 when dining and “All six must belong to the same exclusive extended household group”. – this though does not include rooms occupied or tables that include under 11s.
We believe that Christmas at Craig Y Nos Castle, will still be able to go ahead as long as the same above rules apply.
We can ONLY have 42 people per sitting in each of our function rooms at any one time.
Bookings may be subject to cancellation, if insufficient guests are booked.
Ghost Tours and Events
- Any type of Ghost Tour may take place at the Castle providing they are done in Groups of no more than 6 people, with those 6 people belonging to the same extended household with that “Extended household groups can still be made from up to four households joining together, but only six people can meet at any one time”
- If you are booking onto our G.H.O.S.T tour – we would ONLY therefore be able to accept 1 booking of 6 people – with a maximum of 2 Tours per evening in 2 separate groups. The booking must therefore be in 1 persons name for 6 or less people.
- If you are booking as part of a G.O.D Deal – then the onus is on the GOD Operator to ensure that there one booking with us is split into separate bookings of 6 and you would need to ensure that these 6 are from “no more than four households joining together, to make an extended household but only six people can meet at any one time” – therefore whilst you can have an Event with 18 – these would be run as 3 separate tours – in 3 separate groups dining on 3 separate tables – providing that they are “from up to four households joining together, but only six people can meet at any one time”.
- If you are booking any other type of Event and it is one booking with 6 or less, from the same extended family household, then these will be able to go ahead.
We are having a Management Meeting at Craig Y Nos Castle on Tuesday 15th September, where we will be able to clarify individual accommodation bookings and events and advise each directly as to any specific rules and regulations however, until Tuesday we will not be able to taken many further bookings to allow us to clarify those events, rooms and numbers that we currently have booked. Wedding Bookings though are currently able to taken place in line with the above and we can also take Wedding Viewings subject to no more than 6 in an extended household per viewing and we would also ask those attending to have pre-booked in advance and wear able to do so, to wear appropriate face coverings – a limited number will be available at the Castle along with all the necessary hand sanitisation being made available.
This of course is subject to change by way of further government updates with the next review in 21 days.
The ceremony and movement around the venue
Seating plans for each individual event should need to be drawn up to ensure guests remain within their (extended) households during the ceremony. The ceremony will need to comply with all social distancing rules.
The wedding space should be designed in a configuration that facilitates compliance with the requirements of reasonable social distancing for example one way systems
Guests attending a Civil Ceremony will be seated in family groups/persons from the same (extended) household, with a space between each group.
Background music at a low-level volume can be played during the ceremony itself, however singing, chanting or dancing is not permitted.
No greeting lines will be permitted, unless it is possible with all guests maintaining social distancing throughout. There will be no physical contact between the couple and their guests, unless they form part of the same bubble.
Wedding photographs, wherever possible, will be taken outdoors.
Photographers must comply with social distancing. All photograph setup will need to respect the social distancing rules, and the photographer should factor this in to their planning of the event. We would also recommend only one photographer allowed per event.
As current rules stand, close group shots are not permitted unless organised in (extended) households.
Mingling between (extended) households must be avoided. Your design of the venue should address this. Including providing table service only with no buffets permitted.
Speeches should be allowed as normal. No sharing of microphones, and passing out gifts will not be permitted during speeches. Volume levels to be kept to a reasonable level so guests do not have to raise their voices.
Gift tables should only be used where hygiene arrangements and social distancing allow breaks in potential transmission. Cake tables and the distribution of the wedding cake should be managed with the same disciplines that would apply to the general catering approach
Practicing good hand hygiene is important. Those attending should have access to soap and water to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or access to hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the building and after coughing, sneezing, blowing their nose or being in a public area. Appropriate arrangements for the safe disposal of tissues and paper towels should be made. Soap and non-disposable towels should not be shared in any circumstances.
Hymn books and other shared items should be removed, making use of bespoke order of service pamphlets if necessary. Collections should be arranged online rather than at the place of worship.
It is important also to limit the extent that people from different households congregate after the ceremony. Arrangements should be put in place to ensure that those attending can congratulate the couple and to greet family and friends as appropriate, while ensuring physical distance is maintained as they exit.
Food & Beverage service
For venues that will be offering a food and beverage service, a specific part of your risk assessment must be developed to ensure employee and customer safety. This should include social distancing controls and how payments and any cash transactions should be made. All staff should receive training and the plan refreshed regularly. If you are using outside catering or agency staff, ensure they are also fully trained and aware of the risk assessment for your operation.
Provide table service only for both food and beverages
Ensure wedding events have a specific designated area for eating and drinking, with customers being seated at their designated place to eat and drink. Discourage guests from moving around the venue and remaining at their designated space.
Signage on the entrance to the premises could include:
Details of any access or movement restrictions (e.g. one-way systems).
Customers to wash their hands before moving between sections or use hand sanitiser station provided.
Requirement to adhere current social distancing requirements.
Customers not to enter if they have COVID-19 symptoms
‘Goods in’, if using the same entrances as guests, to be received before or after guests, preferably a back of house delivery and similar care taken to cross contamination and social distancing. Marked social distance for deliveries. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting, extra attention to touch points, door handles and services.
Potential pinch points should be identified and monitored as part of the overall risk assessment in your operational plan.
Social distancing should be maintained between customers at tables
Your risk assessment should include reference to customer toilets, and monitoring of their use to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.
Toilet areas should be regularly monitored and disinfected including frequent disinfection of high-frequency touch points in bathrooms and toilet areas.
Contactless or room account payments should be used whenever possible.
Customer contact with collateral such as menus, trays, napkins etc. should be limited to what is necessary or designed in such a way that cleaning or replacement is carried out after each use
Methods to define social distancing must be considered and applied. For example, use of floor distance markers, barrier systems etc.
Singing, chanting and the use of musical instruments
People should avoid playing music or other background noise at volumes that make normal conversations difficult. This is because raised voices or shouting increase the potential risk of transmission through aerosol and droplets. Therefore spoken responses during marriages or civil partnerships should also be made in a lowered voice.
Activities such as singing, chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should be specifically avoided. This is because there is a possible additional risk of infection in environments where individuals are singing or chanting as a group, and this applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.
Music & Dancing
No dancing should be allowed during the reception but a specific exception can be made to allow a ‘first dance’, for the couple themselves. The parameters for this should be that appropriate social distancing between the couple and guests should be possible during the dance. Circles shouldn’t be formed except where distancing between households can additionally be maintained. Accompanying music should be played in a way that does not encourage guests to sing along, shout or to raise voices to maintain conversation as these are high risk activities.
As long as social distancing between households can be maintained there is no need to put a time limit on an event. However, it would be sensible to consider the time exposure of staff such as those waiting the table service as part of your risk assessment. In particular with how the time of exposure plays out against the ability to maintain a 2 metre distance and the mitigating actions that can be taken for staff, such as additional hygiene or other arrangements.
Whilst loud music, be it recorded or played live, should be avoided, it would be possible to have unamplified live music performed by a socially distanced group (such as a string quartet) as a background. Blown instruments should not be played. Solo singers would be allowed but screens should be considered where it is not possible to protect against droplet transmission by additional distancing.
August & September News
On 22nd August the Welsh Assembly allowed the eating of food and drink indoors - following a Wedding Ceremony for 30 people.
We are therefore able to hold any pre-booked Wedding Ceremonies in our Theatre with 30 people maximum for the actual marriage followed by a Wedding Breakfast for 30 guests.
You are unable to have an Evening Reception with singing or dancing, but can have your first dance to music. Ambient Background music can be played. Evening Buffets, will either be served to the table or selected at the table.
Whilst the below is not legally binding, these are my own personal thoughts:
We are under the thought process that restrictions may be lifted sooner rather than later in order that the country may recover financially, not least with the furlough scheme coming to an end the Government is looking to get people working.
However, this gradual relaxation may need to co-incide with a second wave or vacine, which rumour has will be ready by next Spring, which is why we have many 2020 weddings postponed into Spring onwards.
Naturally we want to offer the best service to our customers and have many options allowing you to postpone or amend your dates. Please email your wedding planner directly.
I can appreciate all our customers comments and concerns, but of course we cant really advise as to what we think might happen, imagine if we suggested you did move and everything was all ok?!
Of course what we can give is only conisdered as advice and supposition, and we can only advise what we have done for weddings this year but feel that their ought to be movement by next Summer else the wedding industry will have ground to a halt!!"
|31st July News|
|My Own Personal Thoughts and Comments||31st July News|
((Wales Online News))
|UK GOVERNMENT WEBSITE - 170720||WELSH ASSEMBLY TEXT -|
Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place after the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation. However, from 1 August small wedding receptions will be able to take place- this means sit- down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance.
THIS WAS WITHDRAWN 31ST JULY 2020
For example, rooms in which a solemnisation of marriage or formation of a civil partnership cannot be used to also conduct a reception without a break in use being established. No food or drink should be consumed as part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.
It should also be noted that regulation 4 prohibits the sale of food or drink for consumption on the premises. Aspects of what would normally form part of a ‘wedding reception’ are therefore not enabled by the amendments to the regulations.
The current restrictions limit what is allowed to the formal elements which provide the legal and spiritual basis on which the marriage or civil partnership is formed. Importantly, this does not include the social gathering, wedding party or ‘reception’ that many will want to enjoy as part of their day. The public health situation and the risks associated with such gatherings do not allow us to go further at this stage. In deciding whether you want to go ahead with your wedding at this point it is important that you understand what the current rules mean for you.
You can do a Wedding Ceremony (as long as the registrar is happy to do it) - they can have drink in or out of the premises - BUT NO WEDDING RECEPTION INDOORS.
GUIDES FOR BRIDESAdvice for Venues Following the PM's Announcement Today
The Prime Minister has today announced that plans to allow wedding receptions from tomorrow have been paused, along with local lockdowns in 3 areas. This is devastating news for the venues, and couples that were finally seeing a glimmer of hope.
If you have weddings in the next 2 weeks
Wedding ceremonies can go ahead, but no receptions.
If your venue licence permits it, you may be able to serve food to up to 2 households as long as it is as a meal, and couldn't be considered a reception, or serve takeaway food. However, it must be within the terms of your current licence.
If you have weddings after 15th August
The plans are being reviewed but nothing will change before the 15th of August. However, today's announcement demonstrates just how fragile the situation is. We feel that few couples, or venues, will want to expose themselves to the added financial risk.
Our survey earlier this week shows that the majority of couples with weddings in 2020 already felt that they'd have to postpone.
As ever, we will be encouraging postponements, not cancellations, to reduce the long term financial implications on venues.
Are there any loopholes?
Yes, plenty. However, in the past week, we have noticed a huge shift in public sentiment. Having already sacrificed so much, no one wants their area or industry to be subject to a local lockdown.
Photos of "underground" weddings from brides, grooms and guests have a habit of appearing on social media.
Local authorities and EHOs will be looking for those ignoring the rules; we have already heard of a £28,000 fine being applied to a venue for holding a wedding reception.
It is important to think carefully, before looking for loopholes, about how you will be perceived by others in your sector who are following the rules, especially if there is a spike in your area that causes a total lockdown. Is it really worth that long term reputational damage?
If we are wanting the financial support from the government that we so desperately need for all venues, we cannot be seen to looking for loopholes or being the cause of local outbreaks.
POSSIBLY 15TH AUGUST
Wedding Receptions HAVE NOT been given the go ahead - BUT, they think that they may allow them on 15th August for no more than 30
31st July 2020
Sadly today there were 2 Government Announcements one by Boris Johnson for England and the other for Wales by Mark Drakeford. Alas, neither of them offered clarity. England were due to allow Wedding Receptions Indoors for up to 30 people and with this in mind it would be fair to say that Wales would follow suit. However, Boris has decided that because of the increased spread of the virus, that he has to postpone any planned relaxation rules from 1st August for at least 14 days.
Our Welsh Assembly allowed the eating of food and drink indoors - however, they cannot be eaten on the premises where a Wedding Ceremony has taken place as this is classed as a Wedding Reception - he did, say however that by 15th August he may allow Wedding Receptions to take place indoors.
So currently in August, we are able to hold any pre-booked Wedding Ceremonies in our Theatre with 30 people maximum for the actual marriage (and that is subject to the Registrar both being able to legally do it and also being available.
Should any further clarification be required, note that if Weddings are relaxed in order to go ahead in August and/or any other month it is "standard accommodation" that we are NOT offering until Spring 2021 – this means any room that is not part of an Event (Weddings, Ghost Tours or Group Bookings) then they will not be able to be booked and any existing bookings will be cancelled) – this DOES NOT INCLUDE ACCOMODATION that is the day before/after or included within a wedding. They will though ONLY taken place if we are allowed to hold the wedding in the first instance.
Sadly the Welsh Assembly make the law and we have to follow the law, not least the registry office will not come if we have more than 30 in the Theatre.
Therefore we have always allowed our Guests to postpone their weddings to any date up to March 2022, and any weddings that are NOT yet postponed and want to do so, can do at NO extra cost.
It is therefore wise to postpone so you can have the day/date of your choice.
It is the law that we are following, based on what the Welsh Assembly decide and can be read here, or on any of the links included.
Any specific legal or contractual questions can be emailed directly to me here – however, I am unable to advise on your existing wedding bookings particulars (i.e names of guests staying/menu choices/table settings, I am unable even to advise on availability etc etc these can be asked here ) and can only advise on contractual issues.
The law at
The above clearly defines they can impose these regulations for our health and protection.
On Friday the Registry office were none the wise and "over the weekend and by Monday I am hoping for more clarity"
Our Business Systems and Procedures Managers announced a statement to wedding guests:
"on 10th July the First Minister announced that from 3rd August, If all is well they will re-open Bars, Pubs and Cafes and Restaurants" Our Business Manager is not sure if this applies to weddings and venues as there would be more social distancing required, and whilst the First Minister has kept the Social Distancing limit at 2m, he has suggests that mitigating circumstances may allow for this (toilet control/more cleaning etc) Therefore over the next few days we can read the Government Guidelines and indicate further how this may affect us. Michael also thinks that whilst it is perhaps too late, weddings from mid August, may have more of an indication and certainly he thinks that September is looking favourable. Of, course the law is made by the First Minister and not our Business Systems Manager!!”
Note though Powys Registry, at their link above have YET to make any decision about changes.
Devolved administrations updateWalesThe Welsh First Minister has set out a timetable for reopening Wales’ visitor economy following a 21-day review period. See below for the dates businesses can reopen:
- From 11th JulySelf-contained holiday accommodation
- From 13th JulyHairdressing salons and barbershops, including mobile hairdressers.Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes outdoors.Outdoor cinemas.Indoor visitor attractions, but a small number of underground visitor attractions will remain closed for the time being because of the higher risks associated with these environments. The Welsh Government will continue to work with these attractions towards safe re-opening.Places of worship. Faith leaders can begin to gradually resume services when they are ready to do so safely.
- From 20th JulyPlaygrounds, community centres and outdoor gymsThe following provisional dates have also been announced:
- From 25th JulyTourist accommodation with shared facilities, such as camping sites.
- From 27th JulyBeauty sector and other close-contact services, including tattooists and nail salonsIndoor cinemas, museums, galleries and archive services.A final decision about reopening these sectors will depend on conditions and feedback from the initial opening of the tourism industry, indoor attractions and hairdressing sector.The next formal review of the regulations is due by 30 July. Detailed discussions about how indoor hospitality can operate in a coronavirus-safe way are ongoing. Options for reopening will be considered from 3 August, if conditions allow.The Welsh Government is also making changes to the regulations to allow larger gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors only where these are organised and supervised by a responsible person for sports and other leisure activities and classes.The law in Wales will continue to make the 2m distance the default position for physical distancing, but given he challenges faced by the hospitality, beauty industry and other sectors, where a 2m distance cannot be reasonably maintained at all times. the regulations will require businesses to put in place a set of additional measures to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.See also the following links and attachments:It's the law, not GuidanceSTILL NO CHANGEhttps://gov.wales/guidance-marriages-and-civil-partnerships-coronavirus-html?fbclid=IwAR0yVXAZZy56FvWdYFu2bBYTM9HcGbqOhdvpKMh2KwTonXSBJAjoz9GfbMMFood – Drink – Cleaning and Opening Guidance
On Friday Mark Drakeford gave an update, which can be watched above.
- From Monday people will be allowed to travel as far as they want in Wales as Mark Drakeford announces a lifting of the five-mile rule.
- Despite removing restrictions on travel, people are still not allowed to stay in self-contained accommodation until July 11. However outdoor visitor attractions will be allowed to reopen.
- Monday, July 6 will also see support bubbles allowed in Wales for the first time.
- Under the new arrangements from Monday are:
- The legal requirement to stay local (and the associated guidance about the five-mile rule of thumb) no longer applies.
- There will be no limitation on travel but holiday accommodation in Wales will not be allowed to be open – self-contained accommodation is preparing to re-open from July 11 provided the spread of coronavirus remains low
- People from two separate households will be able to join together to form one exclusive extended household. But they can only be part of one extended household.
- Everyone joining the extended household must belong to the two households, which form the extended household.
- The extended household must contain the same individuals for the foreseeable future.
- If one member of an extended household develops symptoms of coronavirus, the entire extended household should self-isolate, not just those living together.
The problem however, as the above is NOT consistant with England it still gives mixed messages - and currently the Castle is still closed and will NOT re-open until August for VIEWINGS only, the regulations on weddings has still not given sufficient indications or guidance to indicate that a proper wedding can go ahead.
|Weddings in the News||BBC Wales Wedding News||Junes Updates|
|Gov. Uk - What you can do after 4th July||Gov.Wales - Wedding Advice|
We had aimed to open for Accommodation on 1st September in order to give a fuller Castle experience. See also here Currently there would be no bar service, no evening meals and no breakfast as defined by Holidays in Wales
|Holidays in Wales|
|Gov. Uk - Guidance for Small Marriages & Ceremonies||Accommodation News|
(We are no longer taking bookings for Accommodation unless as part of a Wedding, Group Booking, Ghost Tour or other Event)
|POWYS REGISTRY OFFICE NEWS|
|Food, Drink, Cleaning and Opening Guidance|
|Tourism Checklist||Craig Y Nos Farmhouse|
The Farmhouse has been let out on a long term let with a view to it being sold and we are no longer taking bookings
|UK Government Hospitality Guidelines|
On Friday Mark Drakeford gave and update, which can be watched above.
- Announcement to come on hospitality sectorAsked whether there are still considerations being taken for the hospitality sector, Mr Drakeford said these conversations have continued over the weekend.He said he hopes that these are "productive and profitable" conversations with the sector so it can safely reopen in the outdoors.He said the Government is getting to the point where it has a list of the measures the sector is proposing. He said this needs to be put to the chief medical officer and others who advise us on the science.He added that the conversation over the next couple of days and an announcement will come when it's concluded.
You can though download the UK Government Guidance on Small Weddings here:
On Friday Mark Drakeford gave his weekly update.
Even in his own speech he kind of contradicts himself.
Based on the following then, we have to at least wait and see what the hospitality discussion is, however I think it is more pubs and restaurants. (The spelling errors are not mine)
(1) Discussion taking place about hospitality sector this week
Mr Drakeford said there are discussions taking place this week about the wider hospitality sector.
- He said he has been particularly focused on opportunities to potentially open outdoor hospitality, but he said it's important that if we are able to reopen that sector, it's done in a way that is careful, safe and has the support of the chief medical officer.
- A major meeting about this and trade interests is taking place later today, he said.
- Mass gatherings not likely by end of summer
- Asked about what lockdown restrictions may be eased this summer, the First Minister said he does not think mass gatherings will be permitted by August.
- He said it did not seem likely we would be in a position to bring together large numbers of people.
- He added that it is difficult to sepculate too far into the future, and that we will have to see what happens in the autumn
- He said ha has had "very sober warnings" from our chief medical officers and others that coronavirus may come back again in the conditions of the autumn when it gets colder and damper.
In my view this does not change anything that was issued on 25th June 2020
Michael Ludwig, our Business Systems and Procedures Manager is currently offer this advice and viewpoint as at 25th June 2020
“As it currently stands, the Welsh Assembly lays down rules as to what can and can’t be done in Wales during the Coronavirus. Currently some of this information appears to be vague but also ambiguous.
The UK Government (which means, in my view England) has said “In addition, the Government is also examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings”
“1.17 Can weddings go ahead?
Yes, from 4 July, weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed to take place. You should only invite close friends and family, up to a maximum of 30 people. The wedding exception is for wedding ceremonies only. Large wedding receptions or parties should of course not be taking place. Wedding celebrations can only happen when people follow the guidance of six people outdoors, support bubbles, or two households indoors or outdoors. It is critical for these guidelines to be observed to keep you and your family and friends as safe as possible”.
Specifically relating to Wales
This will mean that limited ceremonies can take place in these venues and in register offices. This does not extend to receptions or other celebrations that many will want to enjoy as part of their wedding.
• This is why the venue will remain closed until at least 1st August, when we intend to start doing new Wedding Viewings.
• These will ONLY be on an appointment basis.
• We will NOT be opening any accommodation in August and all customers with standard accommodation (ROOM) bookings and/or History Tours and Ghost Tours, will be contacted to advise them that we are cancelling them.
• We strongly advise that weddings up to 15th August are postponed immediately and your previously pencilled in date is confirmed as we do not believe that sufficient relaxation rules are in place (noting that if by 15th July, we have NOT heard to the contrary with sufficient relaxation) we may have to make this decision automatically – therefore to allow you to postpone and plan ahead it would be advisable that you do so now.
• We do not believe that your wedding will take the chosen route that you have desired as such:
• Only Small Numbers will be permitted (less than 30) however, if reading the law, only 10 may be permitted.
• Evening Buffets will be served directly to customers at tables.
• There will NOT be a disco (meaning you may lose payments to your DJ) – certainly there will not be loud music or dancing.
• You will not be able to congregate at the bar.
• You will have to socially distance yourselves from other guests.
• Entry to every function room, will mean hand sanitising.
• Breakfast will NOT be able to be served.
• There are various seating/serving regulations that will need adhering to.
Weddings after 15th August, whilst we cannot confirm 100% will go ahead, allow us time, should relaxation be sufficient, to make plans – however, we strongly suggest that you postpone your date and taken up your pencilled date and confirm this.
• If, regulations permit we will allow Wedding Ceremonies for existing Weddings (specifically those in August) as they will already have given the required 28 days notice and have a registrar booked.
We are not taking any accommodation bookings for dates before 1st September (unless as above, restrictions are relaxed and the accommodation is to accompany a pre-booked wedding.
My personal opinion is that if your wedding is before 15th August, you must take steps to have it re-arranged now and if your wedding is after 15th August, whilst I would strongly advise you to change the date it is the 15th July by which we may have to make an automatic decision.
Do however check our websites for updates where you can find more about our Coronavirus Policy.
I appreciate the concerns that this may raise and understand how it may affect you, Craig Y Nos Castle and its team will do what we can to ensure that we work together to make your wedding at the Castle every success”
With it having been reported in the Media as to the opening of Tourism Businesses and yesterday 21st June, on the BBC that weddings can taken place we are having a few requests asking when we can do weddings.
It was reported as below
A lockdown ban on weddings and civil partnerships in Wales will be lifted from Monday - but there will be no big celebrations allowed. The announcement was added to new rules published by the Welsh Government. However, the ban on social gatherings remain, as do social distancing rules. Invited wedding guests can now also travel any distance to be at a ceremony - but services must be small enough to stay safe. It comes as easing other restrictions in Wales mean non-essential shops will also reopen on Monday. The new wedding measures follow calls from couples to marry, even if it means a ceremony with just witnesses and a registrar.
It is indicated on the Church of Wales website that weddings can take place leading me to believe as yet, it is ONLY for weddings in churches.
However the document attached, does not show any indication currently, that an actual wedding can taken place, nor does it indicate that a wedding ceremony in our Theatre can taken place.
removing limitations on marriage and civil
partnership ceremonies taking place, subject
to physical distancing requirements;
“(za) for the solemnization of a marriage or
formation of a civil partnership,”;
(2) P must take all reasonable measures to
(a) that a distance of 2 metres is
maintained between any persons on the
premises (except between two
members of the same household, or a
carer and the person assisted by the
(b) that persons are only admitted to the
premises in sufficiently small numbers
to make it possible to maintain that
(c) that a distance of 2 metres is
maintained between persons waiting to
enter the premises (except between two
members of the same household, or a
carer and the person assisted by the
Further Guidance also indicates “you must not use someone else's bathroom, or kitchen, if you are visiting them in their garden, to prevent the spread of the virus”
Powys Registrars Webpage indicates still, that https://en.powys.gov.uk/article/8818/Coronavirus-COVID-19---Registrars there are no marriage registrations until 30th June
My own view therefore is that:
I think it might be around 10 at a Ceremony. It may literally be in, do you take one and do you take the other. Yes good, kiss and go, might be a drink and goodbye .They may even be permitted to stay in an en-suite but not have breakfast, or at least in their room - but pointless as it costs us too much, but in August possibly as if we have a few more then might be easier to do them but not financially viable - really only good for existing bookings in August if we can’t have proper weddings but certainly not in July!!
As it says that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between persons waiting to enter the premises (except between two members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer).” Thats the regulation Guidance says you must not use someone else's bathroom, or kitchen, if you are visiting them in their garden, to prevent the spread of the virus
Thus my comments (in brief to customer) would be:
"As far as i am concerned there are still no weddings (or accommodation) in July, and that although ceremonies can take place, we are unsure of the social distancing implications other than 2 metres apart, so that may will be 3 chairs gap between non household members not least we cannot do ceremonies until August as we were only advised of this, today (21st June – if it is reported as correct) and therefore have no plans to do any weddings, ceremonies or accommodation in July.
We are waiting for further relaxation which at the latest will be at the next 3 week lockdown meeting, by which time we may have firmer indications as to whether full wedding celebrations/functions can go ahead in August and issue a fuller statement.
(We could possibly go ahead with the marriage ceremony only (for previously booked August Weddings) once we have further guidance)
We are NOT having any accommodation open at all in July, as no rules were issued that give us the ability to fully run as a B and B/Hotel/Wedding Venue not least this rule is (a) only from July 13th and (b)if the R rate and Virus position doesn't get any worse and (c)is only for self contained/self catering so we could not feed anyone ourselves in the usual manner.
We are therefore awaiting a further announcement due in the next 3 weeks to see how any further relaxation may affect the continued Weddings for August, but as previously recommended it is worth planning a second pencilled in date and being ready to move your booking”
My thoughts are that if the venue can hold 150 people with careful planning you could get 6 to a table and either family members a gap between non family members and get 60 to 70 in a room. Problem is restaurants are not yet open, so we have no idea when and what restrictions will be. I have heard either NO BUFFET or better would be buffet served to the table BUT social distancing at a disco and how do you do the family photo.
Whilst regulations here indicate the changes:
Rules about accommodation here:
Indicates this “Accommodation without shared facilities – this is accommodation, which is entirely self-contained with kitchens and bathrooms that no other guests use. This includes self-catering cottages and apartments and caravans with their own bathroom facilities” This means from the Castles general point of view we are only able to use our “self contained farmhouse, meaning that existing bookings for August can start – sadly, we are fully booked thereafter”
The Castle is still currently closed and we aim to re-start Wedding Viewings by appointment
https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance?fbclid=IwAR3axGd8vFW8Fi8JF7wNAIa3hIkFLARthTiiTWZKAFKfEIMpc9kd4EAL4fk#section-39241 from 1st August, as we need to prepare the building to meet Social Distancing Rules and ensure we are Covid Safe, both for the safety of any staff or visiting guests.
Mark Drakeford says:
• 22/6 - all non essential retail opens if safe with Covid Secure & Social Distancing in plans. Churches
• 29/6 - Back to School to prepare.
• 06/7 - Lift Requirement to stay local.
You can travel beyond your area for compassionate reasons.
Moving into the Amber zone.
Working from home wherever possible, not least part time working is NOT permitted until 1st July.
Avoiding unnecessary travel.
Meeting only 1 other household out of doors.
Same measures can now be released to our tourism sector and we can we can lift the requirement - self contained accommodation owner (entirely self contained) we can take bookings 13th July, at our own risk.
"Any accommodation that is entirely self contained, with its own kitchen and bathroom....that includes hotels and bed and breakfasts with Ensuite rooms with room service were included"
https://businesswales.gov.wales/news-and-blogs/news/all-non-essential-shops-wales-will-be-able-re-open-monday-22-june-2020 updated 19th June
https://gov.wales/coronavirus-guidance-holiday-accommodation-businesses yet to be updated
https://gov.wales/retailers-coronavirus-workplace-guidance updated 19th June
https://gov.wales/your-responsibilities-employer-coronavirus various updates specifically https://gov.wales/staying-safe-at-work needs the relevant update about “self contained”
https://gov.wales/written-statement-review-lockdown-measures-and-health-protection-coronavirus-restrictions-wales-0 full review 19th June Updated
"Where there is speculation, there is always an element of doubt"
Sadly, as regulations have not been relaxed sufficiently, there is some ambigiouty as to what can and cannot be done, can accommodation open, can we do weddings and can we serve food and drink.
Regulations are being relaxed but, not at the speed we would like.
For Weddings in July 2020
On Friday 8th May, Mark Drakeford (First Minister) for Wales indicated that there would be little change in the lockdown rules for Wales. Garden Centres would open on Monday 11th May and people were allowed out more than once to exercise. He made it quite clear that the Welsh Government's message remained to “stay at home” On Sunday 10th May, echoing the Garden Centre opening and more exercise relaxation, Boris Johnson indicated to “stay alert” and that “you can travel by car” to exercise. This gave little indication as to the opening business within the Hospitality Industry bar come July, with some degree of social distancing measures “some hospitality” business may open.
We believe that it means in July, Craig Y Nos Castle will be unable to open sufficiently to undertake Weddings or Events, as certainly we are lead to believe that “pubs and bars” will not be able to open. This means that all July 2020 weddings will need to postpone their weddings and naturally, apologise for the inconvenience for you having to do so. We are still offering a free postponement scheme in that you can transfer your existing wedding package to a new date up to 31st March 2022 with no postponement fee and no increase in rates, when keeping to the terms of the existing package booked. You will be contacted by our Wedding Manager shortly requesting that you pencil a new date and then check with the Registry Office and other suppliers (particularly DJ, Photographer, Cake Maker and Wedding Cars) to check availability and then confirm that date to us.
For Weddings in August 2020
Whilst we are unaware as to when any restrictions are to be lifted, we advise any August 2020 weddings to pencil in an alternative date also (but leaving the August date in place) so that should restrictions be lifted you can marry at the Castle on the original August date.
I can appreciate that this is an upheaval and will cause inconvenience but by working through this together, we can move forward and make your new wedding day every success.
Accommodation & Non Wedding Events up to July 2020
As far as we are aware as we are unable to serve food or drink any accommodation bookings or non wedding events will also need to be cancelled. However, as this advice is continually updated we advise to check this webpage for any updates.
Michael Ludwig – Business Manager 11/05/20
(You can also visit www.craigynoscastleweddings.com and www.craigynoscastleweddings.com/coronavirus.html for more information)
For Castle Accommodation and Non- Wedding events booked in April, May or June 2020
"Due to the uncertainty of being open in time for your booking(s) (and following the 16th April lockdown restrictions and food service in Hotels/Restaurants not being lifted) and with all of our events and accommodation up to end of June postponing, it would be advisable that you postpone your booking until a later date. We believe that the Castle should be upon and running fully in July. Accommodation bookings would not normally have paid and therefore no monies will be debited from your account or charged however, in the case of an event, where possible these can be postpone to an alternative date Events that require cancelling in full can be, however refunds cannot be immediately processed as staff do not have access to the Castle to undertake any admin work (until such time lockdown) is removed and are therefore working from home”
For Weddings and Wedding Accommodation booked in April, May or June 2020
"Due to the uncertainty of being open in time for your Wedding (and following the 16th April lockdown restrictions and food service in Hotels/Restaurants being lifted) and with most of our Weddings up to June 30th already having postponed, we sadly have no option but “due to circumstances beyond our control” advise that you postpone your booking until a later date. We believe that the Castle should be upon and running fully in July. Your Wedding Payments already made, will be held on account and transferred to your new Wedding date and there is no charge for this postponement of which the new date can be up until 31st March 2022. Wedding Accommodation bookings will be transferred automatically and we will contact all those booked in on your original date advising them of the change should you wish. Naturally we can understand your concerns and are here to help you through the process”