Craig Y Nos Coronavirus News - Craig Y Nos Castle (Weddings, Accommodation and Ghost Tours) in Wales

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Craig Y Nos Coronavirus News

Weddings in the NewsBBC Wales Wedding NewsLatest Craig Y Nos Wedding Advice
Gov. Uk - What you can do after 4th July Gov.Wales - Wedding Advice
We aim 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
The Castle will open for viewings on 1st August 2020 -email for a viewing. We do not believe "proper" weddings will go ahead in August.
Gov. Uk - Guidance for Small Marriages & Ceremonies
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.

On Friday Mark Drakeford gave and update, which can be watched above.

  • Announcement to come on hospitality sector

    Asked 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.

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
distance, and
(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 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 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.
"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.

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"

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.
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

7th April
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”
For Craig Y Nos Farmhouse bookings in April, May or June 2020
"Due to the uncertainty of being open in time for your booking(s) (and with the 16th April lockdown restrictions remaining in place, it would be advisable that you postpone your booking until a later date after 1st July at the earliest “if you have an existing booking that is during the lockdown period – currently until 7th May, you will not be able to stay at the Farmhouse and can arrange to postpone your existing booking, by emailing to check for more details – but do check with us regularly if your stay is after 7th May as depending on regulations in force your booking may be able to go ahead – so you can keep your booking and also pencil in an alternate date, if your stay is not permitted to go ahead” Deposits already paid can be transfered to your new dates.

We are UNABLE to take any new bookings until at least 1st July
These decisions are based on the rationale here (click to read more) not least the First Minister of Wales has said that "lockdown" will not be removed this week and with the imminent announcement being made on Thursday 16th April, for the rest of the UK we have to plan forward - this means that as we cannot plan staffing, laundry, food or drink and with most of our staff furloughed we have had to make the decision not to re-open for any guests staying (Accommodation, Weddings or Events)

Have you ever been in the postion where you dont know what to say or how to say it, usually i am never stuck for words. I am very direct and blunt and sadly I have been there, done it and seen it. I can also supress my emotions.

Sadly that was until last night. I had to make both a financial decision, a moral decision and also follow the guidelines of the law. The statement made by Boris Johnson yesterday, did not mean Hotels had to close, however further clarification meant that food could not be served, unless as either takeaways or as room service something which of course is no use when doing a wedding.

At 21.51, i had the uneviable task calling 2 brides to be to explain that their weddings (within the next 7 days) were unable t go ahead as planned

At around 01.00 i had to then message all our staff to explain what we were doing, and what we could do following on from financial announcements having been made by the Govt/HMRC.

To say that i am upset both about letting wedding couples and staff is an understatement - but sadly i have to make this announcement (which i have left for most of the morning, so our tireless wedding team can contact as many brides, with upcoming and imminent weddings who have yet to postpone, to advise them personally - for which i am extremely grateful)

""It  is with regret that due to the ongoing coronavirus situation that Boris Johnson on Friday 20/03/2020 advised that Pubs Clubs Restaurants Cafes and Bars are to close at midnight on 20/03/2020. Whilst there was no immediate indication that this also included hotels, clearly Mr. Johnson indicated that Food was only to be served on a take-away basis. Therefore as a venue we have taken the decision that with immediate effect and until further notice we are unable to service any weddings, events or accommodation. Please read our Coronavirus Page (below) for full details of our postponement policy and procedure. Wedding Guests and Clients who have not yet postponed their wedding will be contacted within the next 72 hours to discuss transfers of dates""

""Now that pubs clubs and restaurants are closed, a wedding venue that has a restaurant or bar cannot operate by law, though 'venues' are not included in the reference to 'Pubs Clubs and Restaurants etc'!  The intention of the PM is clear even though the strict legal interpretation re 'venues' remains ambiguous. It has taken an hour or so to get our heads around all this and to check with other hotels what they are doing too""

Whilst as a workplace we currently remain open our wedding team are working hard to contact all affected couples and i ask that you bear with us at this time, so we can reschedule dates and work with suppliers.

""We will re-open as soon as the Government allows us to trade again but this does not look likely for a few months. We remain hopeful about July and August 2020 onwards and will forward plan for re-opening then - with some great deals to look out for then - but this depends entirely on us all working together NOW as a society to prevent the spread of Coronavirus""

Anyone with an accommodation only booking in the Castle, will be contacted shorlty by our Reception Team, who are working hard to advise our customers and their room(s) will be cancelled directly.

I sincerely apologize to anyone affected and our wedding team will be in touch direct very soon.

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