Weddings are permitted
After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s most recent national address on 1 February 2021, the regulations were updated. Lockdown restrictions eased, however South Africa remains on level 3 alert level lockdown. The most recent article addressed valuable details on this topic, now here is an update. We have received specific guidance on this topic from our local South African Police Services (SAPS).
Let’s answer the BIG Question “Is a Wedding a Gathering or a Social Gathering or a Faith-based Gathering?”
The Gazette answers each of these areas, 1. Gathering, 2. Social gathering, 3. Faith-based gathering – very differently. The gazette doesn’t specifically make mention of the exact and specific term of a wedding. Therefore, we sought further insight and guidance from the local SAPS, who we were directed to from Covid19Exceptions@dha.gov.za This important clarity on which category weddings falls into, impacts if the wedding is permitted. And if permitted, how to implement the regulations accordingly.
The SAPS authority confirm that a wedding is considered a GATHERING. Here are the reasons why:
- A gathering is more than 1 person
- A wedding is NOT a social gathering because a social gathering is for example, a festival, event or concert. A social gathering is an ‘open invite’ social gathering of people.
- A wedding has a formal agenda followed, and restricted, to this agenda.
- A wedding is NOT a faith-based gathering because you do not have to believe, in order to get married or to attend a wedding.
- A wedding is an organised gathering which specific people are ‘invited’. Each person attending the wedding has a formal invitation from the Bride and Groom. Access to the wedding is fully controlled.
- A wedding includes the ceremony and reception, not one or the other been separated.
The SAPS informed us that the wedding venue is responsible to be well-informed and abide by the regulations. Speak to the SAPS in the area you intend to have your wedding for guidance and request written consent from them on the same.
So, liaise directly with your wedding venue to design the plan of action and way forwards for your wedding. Make very sure that your contract with the wedding venue has been updated and has detailed terms to fully support these Gazette Regulations.
Therefore, weddings (both the wedding ceremony AND wedding reception) are permitted now, on condition, the guidelines of number of people and protocols are strictly adhered to. The venue is responsible to initiate and ensure the updated regulations are in full accordance with the most recent Gazette. Therefore, contact your venue, for they will tell you what can be accommodated, their venue capacity and the plan of action.
Most importantly, ALL Covid-19 restrictions and regulations must be taken seriously and fully adhered to. These are:
- 1.5 metre social distance between all people attending the wedding. Consider your seating plan: A table that previously seated 10 people may now have a maximum of 5 or 6 people. Read how to implement and respect these guidelines at your wedding HERE
- Face masks
- Hand Sanitisers frequently available throughout the venue
Although we remain on level 3, the regulations have somewhat relaxed. Here’s an overview:
The gazette explicitly outlines the regulations for a gathering (ie: wedding) as follows:
(Please note that if you are located in a “hotspot area”, that the area specific regulations may differ as shared in this article. Refer to the Gazette to see if your area is a hotspot.)
1. Gathering sizes
Gatherings may not exceed 50 people indoors in a venue, or 100 people at an outdoor venue. Where the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers, then 50% of the venue size.
· Given this, an indoor venue is capped at a maximum of 50 people (not exceeding 50% of the floor space)
· Furthermore, an outdoor venue is capped at a maximum of 100 people
2. Curfew times are now 23h00 – 04h00
During the previous ‘adjusted level 3 of lockdown’, the curfew was in place from 9pm – 5am. With the curfew extension now by 3 hours, this is a great news for the wedding agenda! President Ramaphosa said that the entertainment establishments must close by 22h00 to allow staff to return home in time before curfew.
3. The sale of alcohol is now permitted!
- Sale of alcohol by licensed premises is permitted now Monday to Thursday from 10h00 to 18h00.
- Wine and micro breweries are permitted to sell alcohol for off-site consumption.
- The sale of alcohol for on-site consumption is permitted from 10h00 – 22h00, for example in a restaurant.
Add elements to your wedding photos and memories – the Corona Wedding Gift, ideal for Groom, Bestman, Groomsmen here.
4. Tobacco can continue to be sold
5. International travel continues to be permitted (subject to some travel restrictions)
This allows international guests to attend physically – not just virtually.
Subject to some restrictions:
- Any person travelling internationally must produce a valid Covid-19 test result, which must be no older than 72 hours. If the traveler does not produce the Covid-19 test result, a possible quarantine period could evolve, and this will be at the traveller’s own cost.
- Some travel to and from some countries could be restricted, check with your travel agent for more information.
Make sure that your wedding guests are well-informed of their individual travel regulations and requirements.
6. Face masks continue to be mandatory in public spaces
…Gorgeous Bridal Face Masks here
7. Travel between provinces in South Africa continues to be permitted
Wedding guests and vendor suppliers can continue to travel nationally anywhere within South Africa.
8. Sanitising protocols MUST be applied
Hand sanitiser stations are the new wedding trend. The hand sanitiser stands can be done up really awesome, with personalised sign boards, décor and flowers.
Check out of our previous articles at Blog Page for more guidance on these requirements.
A perfect and convenient reason to make the wedding guest gift a small bottle of personalised hand sanisiter, found here and also another cheaper style here.
Personalised Wedding Gift Favour Hand Sanitisers here
9. Beaches, public pools, parks are reopened
The BIG Question is answered: A wedding is in the category of a ‘gathering’.
Therefore, weddings are permitted now. This is on condition that the guidelines and protocols are strictly adhered to. The venue is responsible to implement, follow and ensure the updated regulations are in full accordance with the most recent Gazette. Ensure most importantly to abide by regulations of: Maximum number of people, social distancing, face masks, sanitising, curfew.
Although South Africa stays on alert lockdown level 3, the restrictions have somewhat eased. Improved restrictions include: Adjusted curfew time, gathering size, alcohol sale, reopening of beaches, pools and parks.
Weddings are permitted.
And above all else, Love Never Fails.
Love Never Fails.
There are fundamentally important changes expected of any future weddings. Read these in this article on Wedding Tips
There’s a HUGE SALE at South Africa’s BEST online wedding shop, for Everything Needed Before, During, After Your Wedding HERE
This article will be updated in our blog as wedding information progress onwards. Watch this space! Most importantly, check into our Blog Page for more insight into Hot Wedding Topics.
*Note from the Editor: This article is merely intended to explore grounding information proposed to sober wedding indecision. By no means is this article a comprehensively seamless analysis or official information. This information is accurate to the date of publishing, from reliable sources at SAPS. More information will unveil as the government releases further information.