A restaurant has come to the rescue of wedding couples in a fight to allow dancing at professional venues.
A restaurant has come to the rescue of wedding couples in a fight to allow dancing at professional venues.

Dance restrictions kill love vibe at weddings

An restaurateur who's venue was recently included in the world's top 10 per cent has made an impassioned plea to the State Government on behalf of Queensland's wedding couples to relax dancing restrictions at professional venues.

The Courthouse Restaurant (TCR) proprietor Mary Gibb has, in a letter to Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeanette Young, urged authorities to amend restrictions which currently only allow the wedded couple and their parents to dance at professional venues.

The Courthouse Restaurant boasts plenty of outside space for its weddings. Picture: Papillon Studio Photography
The Courthouse Restaurant boasts plenty of outside space for its weddings. Picture: Papillon Studio Photography

Under the State's current Weddings Industry COVID Safe Plan celebrations held at both private and professional venues can accommodate 100 attendees however restrictions between the two vary markedly.

Dancing is not expressly prohibited or enforced at privately residences although social distancing is advised.

The seeming incongruity has spurred Ms Gibb to challenge the harsh dancing restrictions at venues such as hers, where she said heartbroken couples are having to cancel by the droves.

"We have over 60 weddings in the next six months who are nervously waiting to see if they can celebrate their wedding safely and happily, and you have a dedicated business operator that will do all that is necessary to help them achieve this," Ms Gibb states in her letter.

"This is their dream day, one of the most important days of their lives.

"This plea to you is asking for your help and guidance."

The Courthouse Restaurant owner Mary Gibb. Picture: Supplied
The Courthouse Restaurant owner Mary Gibb. Picture: Supplied

Idyllically set on the waterfront at the Cleveland Point Heritage Precinct TCR has generous outdoor space, which, together with a myriad other self-imposed restrictions, Ms Gibb said was key for allowing safe dancing between couples known to one another.

"If they choose to take the celebration at home as is currently permissible for up to 100, with the same invited family and friends, there are no measures in place, no time limits, no restrictions on dancing or distancing, no COVID Safe trained staff, no responsible service of alcohol and no support to business which employs people and pays taxes," Ms Gibb states in her letter.

"I would consider this a far greater risk to the potential to spread the virus with zero benefit to the economy."

A wedded couple at The Courthouse Restaurant. Picture: The Courthouse Restaurant
A wedded couple at The Courthouse Restaurant. Picture: The Courthouse Restaurant

Under Ms Gibb's proposal weddings at her venue would abide to the following restrictions were outdoors dancing between couples allowed:

• Entrances to and from these areas can be monitored and controlled and will contain an

automatic hand sanitiser

• They have sourced a Qld supplier to custom make wedding themed masks which will be given to every guest and which must be worn at all times for dancing

• Only couples, within the bridal party and the guests will be permitted to have contact during dancing (the first one or two special songs)

• During general dancing there is to be no contact except as currently permitted of

the wedded couple and their parents.

• The duration of the dancing will not exceed 1.5 hours, from the Bridal Waltz on.

Diners in for a treat at a wedding held at The Courthouse Restaurant. Picture: The Courthouse Restaurant
Diners in for a treat at a wedding held at The Courthouse Restaurant. Picture: The Courthouse Restaurant

Ms Gibb's plea comes after Queensland Health amended restrictions to allow the wedded couple, "who would consummate their vows later in the evening anyway" to dance.

However, the department was steadfast in adhering to current parameters.

"For weddings, Queensland will allow the bridal couple to dance, and the bridal couple and their parents to dance," a Queensland Health spokesman said.

"General dancing is not yet approved.

"Queenslanders have done such a good job keeping COVID-19 at low levels that we believe we can responsibly allow the bridal couple and their parents to dance at weddings.

"But the risk remains and we need to be vigilant. This is why general dancing at weddings is not yet permitted.

"Celebrations at private residences are subject to the Movement and Gathering Direction. "People can only have up to 100 people in their home and visitors should still practise social distancing."

Originally published as Dance restrictions kill love vibe at weddings



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