COVID Negligence? Can you be sued by a guest?
We have been in a pandemic now for almost 2 years, so many things have changed dramatically for everyone. Even though we would like to think that COVID is a thing in the past, but in all honesty it isn't.
The wedding industry has felt the cold powerful blow of COVID along with their clients. I can recall numerous conversations with my couples about COVID and what it means for them. Most couples say it's here and there's nothing we can do about it, hopefully everyone is vaccinated or stay home if they are sick.
Many understand the risks, not just for themselves, but their guests.
I couldn't help but to think, if couples could be held responsible for the safety of their guests? Should they adhere to the recommended CDC guidelines? Should couples request all guests be vaccinated and/or provide a negative test? Should there be onsite testing?
As we know, COVID is not covered under any wedding insurance policy. How can a couple protect themselves from potential lawsuit of "COVID negligence"? COVID negligence is when a party fail to take appropriate action to prevent COVID-19’s spread when recommended guidelines and information were known by the party or parties.
In my professional opinion, I think that couples should talk about the possibilities of getting sued and how they could implement a safety plan that would cover all their legal responsibilities as the ones having the wedding. Although it could be hard for this to be upheld in the courts but it’s not impossible.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself against lawsuits and slow the spread of COVID at your wedding:
1. Hire staffing to provide hand sanitizer to your guests before touching items that will be touched by multiple people. For example, the guest book pen, serving utensils, the bar area, dessert station, gaming areas etc.
2. Have guests fill out a COVID questionnaire form online a day or two before the wedding.
3. Asking guests to quarantine as much as possible before attending.
4. Provide onsite testing.
5. Encourage the use of masks.
6. Provide adequate spacing and/or group close families and friends together.
7. Make sure your venue has a great ventilation system and that they do COVID cleaning before each event.
You can't control what happens, but you can certainly do all that you can do to ensure that you are complying. Keep these tips in mind. Don't let COVID take the fun out if planning. Just be creative about it!
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