Those responsible for venues
Those responsible for venues where marriage ceremonies may be conducted should ensure that they only reopen for this purpose if it is safe to do so. It is their responsibility to put in place measures that will allow them to safely reopen.
The Regulations set out the requirements for those businesses and venues permitted to be open to enforce physical distancing in their premises. Where a person who is responsible for a place of worship, carrying on a business or providing a service contravenes the Regulations, that person commits an offence.
Venues hosting marriage ceremonies should ensure that they are conducted in accordance with this guidance. They are also expected to comply with the guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector. Managers should also follow:
- the other guidance set out earlier
- guidance on keeping their workforce, customers and service users safe.
Venues hosting a wedding reception will be expected to comply with:
- the statutory guidance for the tourism and hospitality sector
- this guidance, if the marriage ceremony is taking place at the same venue as the reception
- the industry guidance
A marriage ceremony should take place inside a private dwelling only where it is not possible for it to take place outside or at a public venue. See guidance on numbers attending.
The definition of a private dwelling includes self-contained self-catering and other private hire holiday accommodation.
The use of private hire exclusive use premises (such as castles and historic houses) for marriage ceremonies will depend on the arrangements in place.
If the venue is managed and regulated, with venue staff to ensure that the relevant guidance, including this guidance and statutory hospitality guidance is followed, then the ceremony will comply with the Regulations and guidance. The venue would not be classified as a private dwelling and indoor marriage ceremonies could proceed there under this guidance.
COVID-19 risk assessment
Health and safety law requires all employers to assess the risk of returning to work while the coronavirus outbreak is ongoing and to put steps in place to manage that risk. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) short guide to working safely during the coronavirus outbreak can help those responsible for venues, including with a Risk Assessment template.