Craig Y Nos Coronavirus News - Craig Y Nos Castle (Weddings, Accommodation and Ghost Tours) in Wales

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Craig Y Nos Coronavirus News

Weddings in the NewsBBC Wales Wedding NewsLatest Craig Y Nos Wedding Advice
Gov. Uk - What you can do after 4th July Gov.Wales - Wedding Advice
We had aimed to open for Accommodation on 1st September in order to give a fuller Castle experience. See also here Currently there would be no bar service, no evening meals and no breakfast as defined by Holidays in Wales
Holidays in Wales
The Castle will open for viewings on 1st August 2020 -email for a viewing. We do not believe "proper" weddings will go ahead in August.
Gov. Uk - Guidance for Small Marriages & CeremoniesAccommodation News
(We are no longer taking bookings for Accommodation unless as part of a Wedding, Group Booking, Ghost Tour or other Event)

Food, Drink, Cleaning and Opening Guidance
(For Wales)
Tourism ChecklistCraig Y Nos Farmhouse
The Farmhouse has been let out on a long term let with a view to it being  sold and we are no longer taking bookings
UK Government Hospitality Guidelines
31st July News
((BBC News))
My Own Personal Thoughts and Comments31st July News
((Wales Online News))
Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place after the marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation. However, from 1 August small wedding receptions will be able to take place- this means sit- down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance.

For example, rooms in which a solemnisation of marriage or formation of a civil partnership cannot be used to also conduct a reception without a break in use being established. No food or drink should be consumed as part of the event unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.

It should also be noted that regulation 4 prohibits the sale of food or drink for consumption on the premises. Aspects of what would normally form part of a ‘wedding reception’ are therefore not enabled by the amendments to the regulations.

The current restrictions limit what is allowed to the formal elements which provide the legal and spiritual basis on which the marriage or civil partnership is formed. Importantly, this does not include the social gathering, wedding party or ‘reception’ that many will want to enjoy as part of their day. The public health situation and the risks associated with such gatherings do not allow us to go further at this stage. In deciding whether you want to go ahead with your wedding at this point it is important that you understand what the current rules mean for you.  
You can do a Wedding Ceremony (as long as the registrar is happy to do it) - they can have drink in or out of the premises - BUT NO WEDDING RECEPTION INDOORS.
Advice for Venues Following the PM's Announcement Today
The Prime Minister has today announced that plans to allow wedding receptions from tomorrow have been paused, along with local lockdowns in 3 areas. This is devastating news for the venues, and couples that were finally seeing a glimmer of hope.
If you have weddings in the next 2 weeks
Wedding ceremonies can go ahead, but no receptions.
If your venue licence permits it, you may be able to serve food to up to 2 households as long as it is as a meal, and couldn't be considered a reception, or serve takeaway food. However, it must be within the terms of your current licence.
If you have weddings after 15th August
The plans are being reviewed but nothing will change before the 15th of August. However, today's announcement demonstrates just how fragile the situation is. We feel that few couples, or venues, will want to expose themselves to the added financial risk.
Our survey earlier this week shows that the majority of couples with weddings in 2020 already felt that they'd have to postpone.
As ever, we will be encouraging postponements, not cancellations, to reduce the long term financial implications on venues.
Are there any loopholes?
Yes, plenty. However, in the past week, we have noticed a huge shift in public sentiment. Having already sacrificed so much, no one wants their area or industry to be subject to a local lockdown.
Photos of "underground" weddings from brides, grooms and guests have a habit of appearing on social media.  
Local authorities and EHOs will be looking for those ignoring the rules; we have already heard of a £28,000 fine being applied to a venue for holding a wedding reception.
It is important to think carefully, before looking for loopholes, about how you will be perceived by others in your sector who are following the rules, especially if there is a spike in your area that causes a total lockdown. Is it really worth that long term reputational damage?
If we are wanting the financial support from the government that we so desperately need for all venues, we cannot be seen to looking for loopholes or being the cause of local outbreaks.
Wedding Receptions HAVE NOT been given the go ahead - BUT, they think that they may allow them on 15th August for no more than 30
31st July 2020

Sadly today there were 2 Government Announcements one by Boris Johnson for England and the other for Wales by Mark Drakeford. Alas, neither of them offered clarity. England were due to allow Wedding Receptions Indoors for up to 30 people and with this in mind it would be fair to say that Wales would follow suit. However, Boris has decided that because of the increased spread of the virus, that he has to postpone any planned relaxation rules  from 1st August for at least 14 days.

Our Welsh Assembly allowed the eating of food and drink indoors - however, they cannot be eaten on the premises where a Wedding Ceremony has taken place as this is classed as a Wedding Reception - he did, say however that by 15th August he may allow Wedding Receptions to take place indoors.

So currently in August, we are able to hold any pre-booked Wedding Ceremonies in our Theatre with 30 people maximum for the actual marriage (and that is subject to the Registrar both being able to legally do it and also being available.


Our Business Systems and Procedures Managers announced a statement to wedding guests:

"on 10th July the First Minister announced that from 3rd August, If all is well they will re-open Bars, Pubs and Cafes and Restaurants" Our Business Manager is not sure if this applies to weddings and venues as there would be more social distancing required, and whilst the First Minister has kept the Social Distancing limit at 2m, he has suggests that mitigating circumstances may allow for this (toilet control/more cleaning etc) Therefore over the next few days we can read the Government Guidelines and indicate further how this may affect us. Michael also thinks that whilst it is perhaps too late, weddings from mid August, may have more of an indication and certainly he thinks that September is looking favourable. Of, course the law is made by the First Minister and not our Business Systems Manager!!”

See the attachment for the full update I made,

Note though Powys Registry, at their link above have YET to make any decision about changes.
Should any further clarification be required, note that if Weddings are relaxed in order to go ahead in August and/or any other month it is "standard accommodation" that we are NOT offering until Spring 2021 – this means any room that is not part of an Event (Weddings, Ghost Tours or Group Bookings) then they will not be able to be booked and any existing bookings will be cancelled) – this DOES NOT INCLUDE ACCOMODATION that is the day before/after or included within a wedding. They will though ONLY taken place if we are allowed to hold the wedding in the first instance.

Sadly the Welsh Assembly make the law and we have to follow the law, not least the registry office will not come if we have more than 30 in the Theatre.

Therefore we have always allowed our Guests to postpone their weddings to any date up to March 2022, and any weddings that are NOT yet postponed and want to do so, can do at NO extra cost.

It is therefore wise to postpone so you can have the day/date of your choice.

It is the law that we are following, based on what the Welsh Assembly decide and can be read here, or on any of the links included.

Any specific legal or contractual questions can be emailed directly to me here – however, I am unable to advise on your existing wedding bookings particulars (i.e names of guests staying/menu choices/table settings, I am unable even to advise on availability etc etc these can be asked here ) and can only advise on contractual issues.

The law at

The above clearly defines they can impose these regulations for our health and protection.

On Friday the Registry office were none the wise and "over the weekend and by Monday I am hoping for more clarity"


Devolved administrations update
The Welsh First Minister has set out a timetable for reopening Wales’ visitor economy following a 21-day review period. See below for the dates businesses can reopen:
  • From 11th July
Self-contained holiday accommodation
  • From 13th July
Hairdressing salons and barbershops, including mobile hairdressers.
Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes outdoors.
Outdoor cinemas.
Indoor visitor attractions, but a small number of underground visitor attractions will remain closed for the time being because of the higher risks associated with these environments. The Welsh Government will continue to work with these attractions towards safe re-opening.
Places of worship. Faith leaders can begin to gradually resume services when they are ready to do so safely.
  • From 20th July
Playgrounds, community centres and outdoor gyms
The following provisional dates have also been announced:
  • From 25th July
Tourist accommodation with shared facilities, such as camping sites.
  • From 27th July
Beauty sector and other close-contact services, including tattooists and nail salons
Indoor cinemas, museums, galleries and archive services.

A final decision about reopening these sectors will depend on conditions and feedback from the initial opening of the tourism industry, indoor attractions and hairdressing sector.

The next formal review of the regulations is due by 30 July. Detailed discussions about how indoor hospitality can operate in a coronavirus-safe way are ongoing. Options for reopening will be considered from 3 August, if conditions allow.

The Welsh Government is also making changes to the regulations to allow larger gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors only where these are organised and supervised by a responsible person for sports and other leisure activities and classes.

The law in Wales will continue to make the 2m distance the default position for physical distancing, but given he challenges faced by the hospitality, beauty industry and other sectors, where a 2m distance cannot be reasonably maintained at all times. the regulations will require businesses to put in place a set of additional measures to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

See also the following links and attachments:
It's the law, not Guidance


Food – Drink – Cleaning and Opening Guidance
On Friday Mark Drakeford gave an update, which can be watched above.

  • From Monday people will be allowed to travel as far as they want in Wales as Mark Drakeford announces a lifting of the five-mile rule.

  • Despite removing restrictions on travel, people are still not allowed to stay in self-contained accommodation until July 11.  However outdoor visitor attractions will be allowed to reopen.
  • Monday, July 6 will also see support bubbles allowed in Wales for the first time.
  • Under the new arrangements from Monday are:
  • The legal requirement to stay local (and the associated guidance about the five-mile rule of thumb) no longer applies.
  • There will be no limitation on travel but holiday accommodation in Wales will not be allowed to be open – self-contained accommodation is preparing to re-open from July 11 provided the spread of coronavirus remains low
  • People from two separate households will be able to join together to form one exclusive extended household. But they can only be part of one extended household.
  • Everyone joining the extended household must belong to the two households, which form the extended household.
  • The extended household must contain the same individuals for the foreseeable future.
  • If one member of an extended household develops symptoms of coronavirus, the entire extended household should self-isolate, not just those living together.

The problem however, as the above is NOT consistant with England it still gives mixed messages - and currently the Castle is still closed and will NOT re-open until August for VIEWINGS only, the regulations on weddings has still not given sufficient indications or guidance to indicate that a proper wedding can go ahead.

On Friday Mark Drakeford gave and update, which can be watched above.

  • Announcement to come on hospitality sector

    Asked whether there are still considerations being taken for the hospitality sector, Mr Drakeford said these conversations have continued over the weekend.

    He said he hopes that these are "productive and profitable" conversations with the sector so it can safely reopen in the outdoors.

    He said the Government is getting to the point where it has a list of the measures the sector is proposing. He said this needs to be put to the chief medical officer and others who advise us on the science.

    He added that the conversation over the next couple of days and an announcement will come when it's concluded.

On Friday Mark Drakeford gave his weekly update.
Even in his own speech he kind of contradicts himself.
Based on the following then, we have to at least wait and see what the hospitality discussion is, however I think it is more pubs and restaurants.  (The spelling errors are not mine)
(1)  Discussion taking place about hospitality sector this week
Mr Drakeford said there are discussions taking place this week about the wider hospitality sector.

  • He said he has been particularly focused on opportunities to potentially open outdoor hospitality, but he said it's important that if we are able to reopen that sector, it's done in a way that is careful, safe and has the support of the chief medical officer.
  • A major meeting about this and trade interests is taking place later today, he said.
  • Mass gatherings not likely by end of summer
  • Asked about what lockdown restrictions may be eased this summer, the First Minister said he does not think mass gatherings will be permitted by August.
  • He said it did not seem likely we would be in a position to bring together large numbers of people.
  • He added that it is difficult to sepculate too far into the future, and that we will have to see what happens in the autumn
  • He said ha has had "very sober warnings" from our chief medical officers and others that coronavirus may come back again in the conditions of the autumn when it gets colder and damper.

In my view this does not change anything that was issued on 25th June 2020

Michael Ludwig, our Business Systems and Procedures Manager is currently offer this advice and viewpoint as at 25th June 2020
“As it currently stands, the Welsh Assembly lays down rules as to what can and can’t be done in Wales during the Coronavirus. Currently some of this information appears to be vague but also ambiguous.

The UK Government (which means, in my view England) has said “In addition, the Government is also examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings”

“1.17 Can weddings go ahead?
Yes, from 4 July, weddings and civil partnerships will be allowed to take place. You should only invite close friends and family, up to a maximum of 30 people. The wedding exception is for wedding ceremonies only. Large wedding receptions or parties should of course not be taking place. Wedding celebrations can only happen when people follow the guidance of six people outdoors, support bubbles, or two households indoors or outdoors. It is critical for these guidelines to be observed to keep you and your family and friends as safe as possible”.

Specifically relating to Wales

This will mean that limited ceremonies can take place in these venues and in register offices. This does not extend to receptions or other celebrations that many will want to enjoy as part of their wedding.

• This is why the venue will remain closed until at least 1st August, when we intend to start doing new Wedding Viewings.
• These will ONLY be on an appointment basis.
• We will NOT be opening any accommodation in August and all customers with standard accommodation (ROOM) bookings and/or History Tours and Ghost Tours, will be contacted to advise them that we are cancelling them.
• We strongly advise that weddings up to 15th August are postponed immediately and your previously pencilled in date is confirmed as we do not believe that sufficient relaxation rules are in place (noting that if by 15th July, we have NOT heard to the contrary with sufficient relaxation) we may have to make this decision automatically – therefore to allow you to postpone and plan ahead it would be advisable that you do so now.
• We do not believe that your wedding will take the chosen route that you have desired as such:
• Only Small Numbers will be permitted (less than 30) however, if reading the law, only 10 may be permitted.
• Evening Buffets will be served directly to customers at tables.
• There will NOT be a disco (meaning you may lose payments to your DJ) – certainly there will not be loud music or dancing.
• You will not be able to congregate at the bar.
• You will have to socially distance yourselves from other guests.
• Entry to every function room, will mean hand sanitising.
• Breakfast will NOT be able to be served.
• There are various seating/serving regulations that will need adhering to.

Weddings after 15th August, whilst we cannot confirm 100% will go ahead, allow us time, should relaxation be sufficient, to make plans – however, we strongly suggest that you postpone your date and taken up your pencilled date and confirm this.
• If, regulations permit we will allow Wedding Ceremonies for existing Weddings (specifically those in August) as they will already have given the required 28 days notice and have a registrar booked.

We are not taking any accommodation bookings for dates before 1st September (unless as above, restrictions are relaxed and the accommodation is to accompany a pre-booked wedding.

My personal opinion is that if your wedding is before 15th August, you must take steps to have it re-arranged now and if your wedding is after 15th August, whilst I would strongly advise you to change the date it is the 15th July by which we may have to make an automatic decision.

Do however check our websites for updates where you can find more about our Coronavirus Policy.

I appreciate the concerns that this may raise and understand how it may affect you, Craig Y Nos Castle and its team will do what we can to ensure that we work together to make your wedding at the Castle every success”

With it having been reported in the Media as to the opening of Tourism Businesses and yesterday 21st June, on the BBC that weddings can taken place we are having a few requests asking when we can do weddings.

It was reported as below
A lockdown ban on weddings and civil partnerships in Wales will be lifted from Monday - but there will be no big celebrations allowed. The announcement was added to new rules published by the Welsh Government. However, the ban on social gatherings remain, as do social distancing rules. Invited wedding guests can now also travel any distance to be at a ceremony - but services must be small enough to stay safe. It comes as easing other restrictions in Wales mean non-essential shops will also reopen on Monday. The new wedding measures follow calls from couples to marry, even if it means a ceremony with just witnesses and a registrar.

It is indicated on the Church of Wales website that weddings can take place leading me to believe as yet, it is ONLY for weddings in churches.

However the document attached, does not show any indication currently, that an actual wedding can taken place, nor does it indicate that a wedding ceremony in our Theatre can taken place.

removing limitations on marriage and civil
partnership ceremonies taking place, subject
to physical distancing requirements;
“(za) for the solemnization of a marriage or
formation of a civil partnership,”;
(2) P must take all reasonable measures to
(a) that a distance of 2 metres is
maintained between any persons on the
premises (except between two
members of the same household, or a
carer and the person assisted by the
(b) that persons are only admitted to the
premises in sufficiently small numbers
to make it possible to maintain that
distance, and
(c) that a distance of 2 metres is
maintained between persons waiting to
enter the premises (except between two
members of the same household, or a
carer and the person assisted by the
Further Guidance also indicates “you must not use someone else's bathroom, or kitchen, if you are visiting them in their garden, to prevent the spread of the virus”
Powys Registrars Webpage indicates still, that there are no marriage registrations until 30th June

My own view therefore is that:
I think it might be around 10 at a Ceremony. It may literally be in, do you take one and do you take the other. Yes good, kiss and go, might be a drink and goodbye .They may even be permitted to stay in an en-suite but not have  breakfast, or at least in their room - but pointless as it costs us too much, but in August possibly as if we have a few more then might be easier to do them but not financially viable -  really only good for existing bookings in August if we can’t have proper weddings but certainly not in July!!

As it says that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between persons waiting to enter the premises (except between two members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer).” Thats the regulation Guidance says you must not use someone else's bathroom, or kitchen, if you are visiting them in their garden, to prevent the spread of the virus

Thus my comments (in brief to customer)  would be:

"As far as i am concerned there are still no weddings (or accommodation) in July, and that although ceremonies can take place, we are unsure of the social distancing implications other than 2 metres apart, so that may will be 3 chairs gap between non household members not least we cannot do ceremonies until August as we were only advised of this, today (21st June – if it is reported as correct)  and therefore have no plans to do any weddings, ceremonies or accommodation in July.
We are waiting for further relaxation which at the latest will be at the next 3 week lockdown meeting, by which time we may have firmer indications as to whether full wedding celebrations/functions can go ahead in August and issue a fuller statement.
(We could possibly go ahead with the marriage ceremony only (for previously booked August Weddings) once we have further guidance)
We are NOT having any accommodation open at all in July, as no rules were issued that give us the ability to fully run as a B and B/Hotel/Wedding Venue not least this rule is (a) only from July 13th and (b)if the R rate and Virus position doesn't get any worse and (c)is only for self contained/self catering so we could not feed anyone ourselves in the usual manner.
We are therefore awaiting a further announcement due in the next 3 weeks to see how any further relaxation may affect the continued Weddings for August, but as previously recommended it is worth planning a second pencilled in date and being ready to move your booking”

My thoughts are that if the venue can hold 150 people with careful planning you could get 6 to a table and either family members a gap between non family members and get 60 to 70 in a room. Problem is restaurants are not yet open, so we have no idea when and what restrictions will be. I have heard either NO BUFFET or better would be buffet served to the table BUT social distancing at a disco and how do you do the family photo.

Whilst regulations here indicate the changes:

Rules about accommodation here:
Indicates this “Accommodation without shared facilities – this is accommodation, which is entirely self-contained with kitchens and bathrooms that no other guests use. This includes self-catering cottages and apartments and caravans with their own bathroom facilities” This means from the Castles general point of view we are only able to use our “self contained farmhouse, meaning that existing bookings for August can start – sadly, we are fully booked thereafter”

The Castle is still currently closed and we aim to re-start Wedding Viewings by appointment from 1st August, as we need to prepare the building to meet Social Distancing Rules and ensure we are Covid Safe, both for the safety of any staff or visiting guests.
"Where there is speculation, there is always an element of doubt"
Sadly, as regulations have not been relaxed sufficiently, there is some ambigiouty as to what can and cannot be done, can accommodation open, can we do weddings and can we serve food and drink.
Regulations are being relaxed but, not at the speed we would like.

Mark Drakeford says:
• 22/6 - all non essential retail opens if safe with Covid Secure & Social Distancing in plans. Churches
• 29/6 - Back to School to prepare.
• 06/7 - Lift Requirement to stay local.
You can travel beyond your area for compassionate reasons.
Moving into the Amber zone.
Working from home wherever possible, not least part time working is NOT permitted until 1st July.
Avoiding unnecessary travel.
Meeting only 1 other household out of doors.
Same measures can now be released to our tourism sector and we can we can lift the requirement - self contained accommodation owner (entirely self contained) we can take bookings 13th July, at our own risk.
"Any accommodation that is entirely self contained, with its own kitchen and bathroom....that includes hotels and bed and breakfasts with Ensuite rooms with room service were included"

Weddings in July 2020
On Friday 8th May, Mark Drakeford (First Minister) for Wales indicated that there would be little change in the lockdown rules for Wales. Garden Centres would open on Monday 11th May and people were allowed out more than once to exercise. He made it quite clear that the Welsh Government's message remained to “stay at home” On Sunday 10th May, echoing the Garden Centre opening and more exercise relaxation, Boris Johnson indicated to “stay alert” and that “you can travel by car” to exercise. This gave little indication as to the opening business within the Hospitality Industry bar come July, with some degree of social distancing measures “some hospitality” business may open.

We believe that it means in July, Craig Y Nos Castle will be unable to open sufficiently to undertake Weddings or Events, as certainly we are lead to believe that “pubs and bars” will not be able to open. This means that all July 2020 weddings will need to postpone their weddings and naturally, apologise for the inconvenience for you having to do so. We are still offering a free postponement scheme in that you can transfer your existing wedding package to a new date up to 31st March 2022 with no postponement fee and no increase in rates, when keeping to the terms of the existing package booked. You will be contacted by our Wedding Manager shortly requesting that you pencil a new date and then check with the Registry Office and other suppliers (particularly DJ, Photographer, Cake Maker and Wedding Cars) to check availability and then confirm that date to us.
Weddings in August 2020
Whilst we are unaware as to when any restrictions are to be lifted, we advise any August 2020 weddings to pencil in an alternative date also (but leaving the August date in place) so that should restrictions be lifted you can marry at the Castle on the original August date.

I can appreciate that this is an upheaval and will cause inconvenience but by working through this together, we can move forward and make your new wedding day every success.
Accommodation & Non Wedding Events up to July 2020
As far as we are aware as we are unable to serve food or drink any accommodation bookings or non wedding events will also need to be cancelled. However, as this advice is continually updated we advise to check this webpage for any updates.

Michael Ludwig – Business Manager 11/05/20

7th April
For Castle Accommodation and Non- Wedding events booked in April, May or June 2020
"Due to the uncertainty of being open in time for your booking(s) (and following the 16th April lockdown restrictions and food service in Hotels/Restaurants not being lifted) and with all of our events and accommodation up to end of  June postponing, it would be advisable that you postpone your booking until a later date. We believe that the Castle should be upon and running fully in July. Accommodation bookings would not normally have paid and therefore no monies will be debited from your account or charged however, in the case of an event, where possible these can be postpone to an alternative date Events that require cancelling in full can be, however refunds cannot be immediately processed as staff do not have access to the Castle to undertake any admin work (until such time lockdown) is removed and are therefore working from home”

For Weddings and Wedding Accommodation booked in April, May or June 2020
"Due to the uncertainty of being open in time for your Wedding (and following the 16th April lockdown restrictions and food service in Hotels/Restaurants being lifted) and with most of our Weddings up to June 30th already having postponed, we sadly have no option but “due to circumstances beyond our control” advise that you postpone your booking until a later date. We believe that the Castle should be upon and running fully in July. Your Wedding Payments already made, will be held on account and transferred to your new Wedding date and there is no charge for this postponement of which the new date can be up until 31st March 2022. Wedding Accommodation bookings will be transferred automatically and we will contact all those booked in on your original date advising them of the change should you wish. Naturally we can understand your concerns and are here to help you through the process”
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