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Updated guidance on weddings: All guests out of function room by 11.30pm and face coverings when leaving table

Fáilte Ireland updated its advice to the hospitality industry – including for weddings – on Monday evening.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/Iryna Prokofieva

FÁILTE IRELAND’S UPDATED guidance on weddings has said that guests must leave the function room/bar area by 11.30pm and that face coverings must be worn by guests when arriving to and leaving their table. 

Published on Monday night, Fáilte Ireland’s latest advice to the hospitality industry comes on the back of stricter restrictions introduced by the government over a week ago

Guidance around hotel function rooms, specifically, have been under the microscope in the wake of the now-infamous Oireachtas Golf Society event held in Galway last Wednesday. 

The updated guidance from Fáilte Ireland says that there can be a maximum of 50 people in the function area, including employees, for weddings.

It says: “The function area must be self-contained and only one function per area/room.

Businesses must follow updated Public Health advice to ensure that all wedding guests leave the function/bar areas by 11.30pm.
Public health advice states that these areas should be cleared of all guests by 11.30pm. However, this does not include staff members who will carry out closing procedures.

The guidance adds that face coverings should be worn by employees in customer-facing roles where no other protective measures are in place, such as protective screens and where 2 metre physical distancing is not possible. 

Another new element of the guidance is that face coverings should also be worn by guests when arriving and leaving their table. 

Furthermore, it is also advised to consider providing hand sanitiser on each table for guests and that face coverings be worn by staff during the service of a meal. 

Other elements included in the initial guidance released to the hospitality sector still apply.

It is advised that guests should enter the property through doors that are automated or manually operated by an employee.

Canapés will be served in individual portions, while loose furniture will be removed from rooms to facilitate physical distancing. 

There will be no shared items on dinner tables and each guest will be served individual portions, with no shared vegetable or gravy dishes. 

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“Signage on tables and dance floors must ask guests to respect physical distancing guidelines,” the document states. 

“Employees must monitor and manage distancing,” it adds. 

The only other new addition to the guidance in the last week is on multiple gatherings in the same venue.

Fáilte Ireland said: “Multiple gatherings are allowed in venue facilities provided they are in separate defined spaces and there are systems to prevent intermingling in common spaces (e.g. entrances, exits and toilet facilities).”

In a statement, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said it welcomed the updated operational guidelines.

It added: “The IHF is committed to safeguarding public health and at all times encourages members to adhere to the guidelines.”

About the author:

Sean Murray

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