COVID-19 STATEMENT – SEPTEMBER 2021
Following a very challenging 18 months for us all we are very happy to have had a summer full of lovely weddings and events. Throughout the pandemic, we have strived to keep our business ‘ticking’ over, whilst following the government guidance and our own risk assessments to see that we do all we can to keep our staff and visitors safe. We have had to adapt considerably in order to achieve this; a good example of which being our patio restaurant called the Caffi at Caer Llan that we launched in July 2020 in response to the restrictions placed on group hospitality. By the time we had to close the Caffi in December for the latest lockdown, we had attracted over 4,000 guests and were routinely complemented for the high quality food and hospitality that we offered but also for the reassuring covid measures that we put into place to keep everyone safe.
Over the last year, we have adapted the building to improve our offering both during and post covid times. We have added 2 stunning verandas to improve the outside spaces and also included large bi-fold doors to the front of the house, both to improve access to the front veranda, but also to increase ventilation and air flow into the house itself. In addition we have purchased a stretch tent which along with the verandas has created a large versatile covered outdoor area.
As we enter into autumn and winter the government is advising that the virus may resurge, however, we are hopeful that we can remain open and that lockdowns will be a thing of the past. We will use the experience that we have gained over the last 18 months to assess the covid risks and mitigate where possible, but essentially, our strategy will be to raise awareness where appropriate such that guests and staff are able to make informed decisions as to whether or not they wish to partake in certain activities at Caer Llan. It is vital that guests respect each other and our staff as vulnerable people are still at risk despite being double vaccinated.
Here is the basis of our strategy for events at Caer Llan:
- Preventing the virus arriving here in the first place has to be our primary objective as no amount of other covid measures at the venue will stop a wider outbreak. One +ve case could potentially infect many within the same party over the course of a weekend. We strongly recommend therefore that all persons attending an event at Caer Llan take a lateral flow covid test hours before attending.
- Please do not come to Caer Llan if you have been asked to isolate, have any of the Coronavirus symptoms or suspect that you may have come into contact with the virus.
- Please also make us aware if you develop symptoms during your visit.
Encourage outdoors if possible
- The stretch tent (summer only) and verandas provide cover for dining from rain and intense sun, however they are less suitable during storms or strong winds and indoor spaces must then be used.
- Our event spaces are quickly adaptable and versatile and so we can monitor weather to arrive at the right choice of indoors or outdoors for your event.
- We are working towards providing some basic heating in the outdoor spaces as winter approaches.
- 2m social distancing will no longer be required and all previous signage will be removed.
- Guest capacity has been reduced slightly to allow a more comfortable spacing between the tables (in particular, tables of 9, will now be limited to 8), but also just to allow a less confined event caused by the feeling of overcrowding. This will help reduce the formation of queues for buffets and bar service.
Moving forward, the capacities for both indoor and outdoor functions are
- 80 day guests (for round tables, 1 top table of 10, 5 tables of 8, 5 tables of 6)
- 100 Evening guests
- Our policy of pre-booked guests only, allows us to control capacity.
Bands and Discos
- We will continue to follow our pre existing noise policy that amplified music is not permitted outdoors at Caer Llan. If you have a DJ or band attending, then as before, they will need to provide their public liability insurance, and they will be performing in the indoor space (no music after 12 midnight). We have to find a sustainable balance between ventilation for our guests (from open doors and windows) and noise control for our neighbours (from closed doors and windows) and therefore we intend to open certain doors and windows to the disco area whilst providing a forced ventilation with fans. We will then insist on reduced volume levels as a result (ie loud enough for enjoyment on the dance floor but not resonating throughout the whole house). We will expect DJs and bands to cooperate with us here to control the sound levels as required. It should be noted by all guests who choose to enter this area that this is one of the higher risk areas for covid transmission. The dancefloor will be a no drinks zone, such that our staff do not have to enter this area repeatedly during the night.
- Hand sanitiser stations are available at key areas including entrances and exits to the toilets, all entrances to the building and dining areas and all staff areas.
- During the pandemic we have reduced the size of our groundfloor toilet block to 3 single use unisex cubicles. We have now reinstated the ground floor complex back to Ladies, gents and wheelchair accessible washrooms.
Masks and face coverings
- Masks or face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement for indoor spaces at Caer Llan and all previous signage will be removed. Guests are, of course, welcome to use masks if they wish at their own discretion.
- All staff have been reminded to report any health issues before travelling to work and to stay at home if they are required to isolate. Our front of house team who have yet to be double vaccinated will continue to wear face coverings when delivering food and drink services to guests. All staff have been trained with procedures regarding Covid 19, such as the importance of frequent hand washing, enhanced cleanliness and working in smaller teams.
Bar and Restaurant
- All covid restrictions for bar and restaurant will end (ie rule of 6, table service for drinks). Normal bar service will resume with customers able to purchase drinks at the bar. Drinking at the bar is permitted, however, bar stools have been removed to discourage people from staying there for any length of time. We will continue to offer a scaled back table service for those who wish to use this. Single use printed menus available on request. Card payments at the table with mobile PDQ. No smoking in all restaurant areas including covered outside areas.
- Our already robust cleaning schedule has been adapted to allow for more frequent cleaning in both front and back of house areas. Particular emphasis will be applied to touch zones such as handles, locks, taps, switches, stair handrails, room keys, dining surfaces, handheld implements etc. Particular attention is made to frequent cleaning in toilets for toilet locks, door handles, taps, toilet seat etc
We find ourselves perhaps nearer to “charted” waters than we have been for some time, and that can only be a good thing. Rest assured though that we will keep an eye on developments and will re-instate covid measures if necessary to ensure the safety of all our guests and staff.
Jake & Vicky Carpenter