Media Statement: Weddings allowed under the current lockdown regulations (under specific conditions mentioned in this statement)

Media Statement: Weddings allowed under the current lockdown regulations (under specific conditions mentioned in this statement)

For Immediate Release
16 February 2021

According to the National Department of Cooperative Governance, weddings are allowed under the current lockdown regulations. This was communicated earlier to the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Command Centre, however, specific directives still apply for those intending to hold such events.

According to the GRDM Head of Disaster Management, Gerhard Otto: “The regulations must be interpreted as a whole, which requires comparing Regulations 33, 36, 39 and 45 with one another.” Otto says it was confirmed that the wedding industry was not mentioned specifically as an exclusion in Regulation 45, however social gatherings at nightclubs are.

It was explained by the Department of Cooperative Governance that the act of getting married at a place of worship, dining out and celebrating a wedding at an entertainment facility is allowed – “within the applicable restrictions,” said Jurgens Dyssel, Director: Policy Development and Regulatory Frameworks at the Department of Cooperative Governance. “As such, an established wedding venue (as a business) can host those parts of a wedding ceremony at their restaurant, ‘chapel’ and entertainment facility that clearly fall within the ambit of the regulations but should refrain from those ‘social’ aspects that do not fall within the permissible components,” he explained.

A summary of the key points applicable to weddings are mentioned below:

  • The regulations must be interpreted in its entirety;
  • The regulations do not define the term ‘social gathering’ and this limits interpretation of the regulations to the general use of the term;
  • Regulation 33(3) sets a 22h00 closing time for certain facilities;
  • Regulation 36(1) imposes health requirements on a person when attending a gathering;
  • Regulation 36(3)(a) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a faith based institution but limit the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a faith based institution;
  • Regulation 36(3)(b) prohibits all social gatherings;
  • Regulation 36(7) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a casino but limit the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a casino;
  • Regulation 36(9) does not limit the reason for a gathering at beaches, dams, lakes and rivers, inclusive of recreational facilities at those places within curfew and within social distancing measures. A person may therefore get married at a beach, dam, lake and river;
  • Regulation 36(10) does not limit the reason for a gathering at swimming pools inclusive of recreational facilities at those places within curfew and within social distancing measures. A person may therefore get married at a swimming pool;
  • Regulation 36(12) does not limit the reason for a gathering at botanical gardens, aquariums, zoos and game parks, other than time of operation and within social distancing measures. A person may therefore get married at a botanical garden, aquarium, zoo and game park;
  • Regulation 36(13) does not permit gatherings at public parks for any reason. A person may therefore not get married in a public park;
  • Regulation 36(15)(a) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a restaurant, but limits the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a restaurant;
  • Regulation 36(15)(b) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a conferencing, dining and entertainment facility, but limits the number of persons to gather to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors (or less), whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a conferencing, dining and entertainment facility;
  • Regulation 36(15)(c) does not limit the reason for a gathering at a business premises, but limits the number of persons to gather to 50 percent of the available floor space, whilst maintaining social distancing measures etc. A person may therefore get married at a business premises;
  • A wedding has religious, cultural, business, social, legal and other components;
  • Regulation 45 deals with the operation of an economic sector (Table 2), which sets out the specific (economic) exclusions but not specifically exclude weddings or wedding venues; and
  • Regulation 39 deals with places and premises closed to the public, which only lists night clubs as the Minister has not defined others by means of a Direction.

The above-mentioned directives, therefore, provide clarity about weddings and unpacks why they are allowed.

ADDED CLARITY TO STATEMENT

The exclusion of social gatherings, night clubs etc. impact on the ‘social’ components of hosting a wedding ceremony. As such, an established wedding venue (as a business) can host those parts of a wedding ceremony at their restaurant, ‘chapel’ and entertainment facility that clearly fall within the ambit of the regulations but should refrain from those ‘social’ aspects that do not fall within the permissible components.

ENDS

Herman Pieters
Senior Communicator
Garden Route District Municipality
Email: communications@gardenroute.gov.za
Website: www.gardenroute.gov.za