The answer is most likely yes.
The rules seem to change daily, however, I spoke with a Government of New Brunswick rep and I had another one email me to make sure I had all of the right info (as of April 2021!).
First and foremost, you, the one inviting people to participate in a gathering, need to have an operational plan. The venue also needs to have one. Your guests and vendors should be made aware of what your operational plan consists of so everyone is on the same page! If you don’t have an operational plan and authorities show up, you could face some pretty hefty fines!
So what is an informal and a formal gathering and what is permitted? According to WorkSafe NB:
- A gathering is informal if it is not hosted by a business or organization in compliance with a formal COVID-19 operational plan that meets all requirements of the Mandatory Order.
- Indoor informal – Your household and Steady15
- Indoor formal – Occupancy limits are based on capacity of facility to maintain physical distancing of people who are not members of the same household or Steady15 and are to be no more than 50% of the facility’s capacity. Continuous mask use is required. Record keeping for participants is required to facilitate contact tracing.
Do you need to submit your operational plan? No, according to WorkSafe NB, “The Operational Plan does not need to be submitted to WorkSafeNB for approval, but must be available to Health & Safety Officers or Public Health Inspectors should they request it during an inspection”.
So what will your reception look like? Well, for starters your tables must be 6 feet apart. People must wear masks at all times (yes even on the dance floor where physical distancing can be achieved) except for when they are seated to eat or drink. They CAN NOT have a drink in hand while moving about. Most venues are serving food and beverages to the tables to avoid people walking around. Can you still have a dance? Sure can! But people may only dance with their table ‘bubbles’ and must stay 6 feet from others. Can you pass out cupcakes? No! Your waiters will have to do this. Can you have a receiving line? Unfortunately not.
Now these are the rules currently, they could change tomorrow (or even this afternoon lol), but better to be prepared to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible!
You can download an operational plan template here (it begins on page 18) and find the answers to most of your questions.