RULES FOR WEDDINGS IN VIC AT 90% ROADMAP

Last updated 19th November 2021

The third stage of Victoria’s staggered reopening plan has come into effect six days earlier than expected thanks to high vaccination rates. This article outlines the info about weddings and funerals/memorials in Victoria at the 90% double dose vaccination level. As far as I’m aware, this is essentially how things are going to be for the foreseeable future (for weddings and funerals); we don’t know how long these rules (such as they are) will be in place.

If you have a question not answered here, let us know in the comments.

A quick disclaimer: we are not lawyers nor do we work for or represent the Victorian Government. This is merely one person’s (Sarah’s) interpretation of the rules and should not be relied upon. We strongly suggest that you do your own reading and make your own enquiries – this is just a starting point.

The best sources of information regarding the rules are:

  • The Public Health Directions (“the Directions”): https://www.health.vic.gov.au/covid-19/directions-issued-by-victorias-chief-health-officer
  • The Victorian Government COVID website: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au
  • And the Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 675 398
    Note: If calling the hotline, make sure you note down the time, the name of the person you spoke with, what they told you, and get a call reference number. They have been known to very occasionally give out incorrect or unclear information (they are pretty much just reading the same website you are). You don’t want to be caught out because of someone else’s mistake.

Please note: marriage celebrants and all funeral workers (including celebrants) ARE on the list of workers required to be vaccinated under the COVID 19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions. Employers must ensure unvaccinated workers do not work outside their own home, and as self-employed people, we are both the workers and the employers 🙂

As with the previous stage, Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria are a single entity. All rules now apply equally across the entire state.

 

Definitions

Let’s have some relevant definitions first:

  • fully vaccinated means someone who has had two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccination, or has a valid medical exemption, or is under the age of 12 years and 2 months
  • organiser means a person who is primarily responsible for organising a ceremony (my interpretation of that is the couple, not the celebrant or any other vendor)

 

Rules for weddings events in Victoria

Home events:

As far as I can tell from reading the Directions, there are literally no rules for weddings or funerals held in private homes. For gatherings held at private homes there are no vaccination requirements, no check-in requirements, no mask requirements, no attendance caps, no density quotients: literally nothing. There’s a strong recommendation that everyone gathering in a home is fully vaccinated, but as far as I can see, no actual requirement.

At 10.07am on 19 November 2021 I spoke to Yuany from the Coronavirus Hotline to ask whether the lack of rules for gatherings at private residences also applied to weddings and funerals. This was the response:

“We have to wait for further clarity from the policy makers. No one is really sure what the restrictions are going to be. I was referred to the table of restrictions, noting this is subject to change, and told weddings in private homes usually follow private residence rules but the table of restrictions has not been updated yet. Please call us back later this evening and hopefully it will have been updated by then.”

Reference number: 724248

I’m going to the theatre tonight and have a full weekend of weddings, meetings, and teaching, so I’ll call again next week and/or check the website for updates. If anyone else calls and gets a different answer, please let me know!

Venue events (e.g. those held in a function premises, food and drink premises, funeral parlour, crematorium, etc)

If everyone in attendance is fully vaccinated (including guests and workers), the venue must have a system for checking in all guests and checking vaccination status, and then there are no rules: no attendance caps, no density quotients, no masks, dancing allowed, no limits on food and beverage service.

The requirements to check vaccination status do not apply if the number of people in attendance is the lesser of 50 or density quotient of 1 per 4 square metres (plus couple/celebrant/photographer for a wedding, plus those reasonably necessary to conduct the service for a funeral).

If any people are in attendance who are not fully vaccinated, masks must be worn indoors (except for the couple, celebrant, anyone receiving a service, e.g. those being photographed).

Non-venue events (e.g. those held in a park, on a beach)

As there was at the last stage, there is a section in the Stay Safe Directions that covers ceremonies that are not being held at a venue (as defined by the Open Premises Directions) or a private residence; to me this covers weddings at parks and beaches (I can’t think of any indoor settings that are not covered by the Open Premises Directions):

  • It requires the organiser of the ceremony to maintain a system to check vaccination status of all guests (except those aged under 12 years and 2 months) and workers, and must take all reasonable steps to not allow unvaccinated people or those who refuse to comply with the system to attend.
  • The organiser must also maintain records of vaccination status of workers in attendance, just like a venue would.
  • These requirements (to check vaccination status of guests and workers) do not apply if the number of people in attendance is the lesser of 50 or density quotient of 1 per 4 square metres (plus couple/celebrant/photographer for a wedding, plus those reasonably necessary to conduct the service for a funeral).

If everyone in attendance is vaccinated, there are no rules: no attendance caps, no density quotients, no masks, dancing allowed, no limits on food and beverage service.

If any people are in attendance who are not fully vaccinated, masks must be worn indoors (except for the couple, celebrant, anyone receiving a service, e.g. those being photographed).

Are marquees considered indoors or outdoors?

“An indoor space means an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls that are either floor to ceiling high or are at least 2.1m high, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are permanent or temporary, open or closed.” (s32(3)(c), Open Premises Directions)

To me that means marquees are considered indoors, regardless of whether the walls are open or closed.

What about events in Airbnb and holiday rentals?

As far as I can tell, they fall under the same rules as private gatherings, so see the rules about home events above.

 

 

Did we miss anything? Let us know your questions in the comments and we will do our best to answer

 

 

 

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