Leading Sydney venue and hospitality group Navarra is calling on the Berejiklian Government to urgently review the stringent 50-guest cap limit on weddings as part of its ‘Road Map’ out of COVID lockdowns.
CEO Sal Navarra said whilst Navarra and its staff and guests would abide with any new health regulations, he questioned the viability of the proposed capacity limit for its major wedding venues, which usually hosted weddings of between 300-500 guests.
“The Road Map is a welcome first-step for our industry, but the 50-guest cap for weddings simply won’t work. Large-scale venues like Navarra, which can safely host 1,650 people, should be able to operate under the same rules as pubs and clubs. There should be consistency across all hospitality sectors, including food, catering and events,” Mr Navarra said.
“After two tough lockdowns, we want to work with the Berejiklian Government to re-open our venues and get back on the road to economic recovery, but it’s unfair for this type of discrimination against wedding venues. There shouldn’t be different rules across the industry, there needs to be a level playing field for all of us.”
Navarra Group Senior Managing Director, Giovannino Navarra, said he wanted answers as to why restrictions are unequally imposed and unfairly oppressive on the wedding and events industry when cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with 4sqm or 75% seated capacity.
“Why can’t the events industry do the same and operate at 75% seated capacity? What intelligible justification does the Government have for these discrepancies?,” Mr Navarra said.
“If we’re being asked by the Government to ensure that Navarra employees, suppliers and our customers are all protected by being double-vaccinated, what is the difference between having 50 guests and 500 guests at our venues?
“Once we hit the vaccination targets, we don’t believe harsh restrictions should still be imposed on fully-vaccinated people who are attending a once-in-a-lifetime wedding celebration.
“We’re urging the Government to listen and act on our concerns about the crippling impacts these restrictions will have on our business, our hard-working staff, our suppliers, our loyal customers and our communities. Please, just give the people of NSW a break.”
Director Marie Florio said the Navarra Group had developed COVID-safe plans for its venues upon the State reaching the 70% double dose vaccination target, but is urging the Government to provide wedding venue operators with greater clarity and certainty around new rules and protocols.
“There’s still too much confusion out there, more questions than answers. We’re receiving calls from anxious brides and grooms, asking us how it’s actually going to work. Our staff are also worried that they could be at risk of legal action if they are forced to turn away people who are unvaccinated,” she said.
“We need the Government to engage with us, so we can re-open our venues and operate safely and effectively.”
About Navarra Group.
With over 48 years’ of events and hospitality experience and over 175,000 events successfully hosted, Navarra is one of Australia’s leading events and hospitality operators.
Founded by Filippo Navarra, the Navarra Group has evolved under the guidance of his children Salvatore, Giovannino and Marie, offering a range of formal, corporate and casual dining experiences, along with cafes and bars across Sydney.
Navarra locations include: La Montage; Conca D’oro; Oatlands House; Curzon Hall and CBD Collection.
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