Red light, green light - our lives are run by a traffic light system these days. It sounds a bit like a scene out of Squid Games and if you are planning a wedding, the stress levels might match. But it's not as overwhelming as it seems once you break down the rules and know where to go for reliable updates. So here is the scoop as it stands now.
The New Zealand government introduced the green, orange and red traffic light system to help protect the community against Covid outbreaks while trying to maintain some normalcy to life. For an area with low Covid numbers, green means everything can be open with no limits on numbers at gatherings. At orange, some restrictions come into play and at red, the restrictions become stricter.
So what does it mean for your wedding day?
At the green light level, weddings can go ahead as usual with almost no restrictions. My Vaccine Pass requirements can be imposed by parties, including the couple and venue. Any guests, staff, or anyone involved with the day would need to show their vaccine pass even if the event is outdoors. In this case, there is no limit to numbers. Children under 12 years and three months are exempt from showing a pass.
If the vaccine pass requirements are not in place, you can have up to 100 people at your home and up to 100 people at other places based on 1-metre physical distancing. This doesn't mean guests have to always be a meter away from each other as this would be impossible at a wedding. Rather the limits are based on the maximum number of guests who could fill the space if each guest was a metre apart. Numbers exclude staff.
At orange level, your walk down the aisle is still happening, but with some restrictions. With vaccine pass requirements followed, there are no limits to numbers. But if vaccine pass requirements are not in place, numbers are limited to 50 people. Workers are encouraged to wear masks, but it's not compulsory. The government acknowledges it may not be practical for some vendors such as performers to wear masks.
When the red light is activated, you can still have your wedding with and without My Vaccine Pass requirements but with different restrictions from orange and green light levels.
With My Vaccine Pass requirements, the conditions are the same as the orange light level. If vaccine pass requirements are not in place, numbers are limited to 25 people at your home or venue. Workers are encouraged to wear masks, but it's not compulsory. The government acknowledges it may not be practical for some vendors such as performers to wear masks.
Food and Drink Rules At All Levels
Guests can be served food and drink at the wedding at green, orange and red light levels.
At the green light level, you can serve food and drinks with no extra requirements. You can serve food and drinks at the orange light level following hospitality rules but are not required to if you have exclusive use of the venue. Private homes and places of worship are not required to follow hospitality rules. At the red light level, if your wedding is at a hospitality venue, like at a licensed restaurant, you must follow the hospitality advice unless you have exclusive use of the venue. Private homes and places of worship are not required to follow hospitality rules.
Of course social distancing and precautions such as washing hands and using sanitizer are always recommended. Many couples are working this into their décor with cute signage and personalized masks and bottles of hand sanitizer as wedding favors.
This site is excellent for up-to-date information on the traffic light system. Your wedding planner and venue are also good sources for the latest changes in the rules and regulations.