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Covid-19 Policies


It has been a difficult time for everyone involved in the hospitality industry this past year, but we are so looking forward to getting back to business and doing what we love to do: weddings and events!

We are excited and ready to help all our couples have their dream weddings in 2021 and beyond! We’ve been using this time to prepare for our upcoming season to ensure that we’re able to go forward with all of our events safely, including:

  • having our local health inspector walk through the venue in consultation with us
  • expanding our tent floor to allow for more usable space and a larger reception area
  • setting up multiple gathering spaces around the property to allow for more social distancing
  • creating multiple bar/food stations to limit guests from congregating in close proximity
  • getting creative with our ceremony chair set-ups to facilitate proper spacing
  • installing no-touch dispensers in washrooms
  • setting up multiple dance floors/areas (provided that dancing is permitted at the time of the event. See below for more information).

We are following the government’s health regulations and guidelines carefully, and will continue to update our couples on the necessary measures over the coming months.


The Sir William Mackenzie Inn is committed to employing the best standards and practices in light of COVID-19, following the applicable government protocols.

In accordance with our contractual agreements, all clients, guests, staff, vendors and anyone else in the venue must abide by any of the venue’s COVID procedures in accordance with public health and company policies.

Policies are subject to change at any time without notice. For example, we may require negative COVID test for weddings, as well as directives on vaccines depending on government protocols.

DJ’s plexiglass barriers provided by vendors or host.

Any clients, guests, staff, vendors and anyone else in the venue not complying with these policies may be denied entry and/or removed from the premises.

We cannot guarantee an illness-free venue, and any persons who choose to enter the venue accept this potential risk.

Gathering Capacity

SWMI will permit the total gathering (event) capacity allowed by the provincial government in the event venue spaces in accordance with the provincial guidelines.

Any applicable guest count limits will be specific to event guests/attendees and will not include persons working to deliver event services. People at their place of work do not count towards gathering limits.

Any seated areas will be set up to allow for physical distancing between social bubble groups with at least 2m of space between seating areas.

All seated events (this applies to both the ceremony & reception) require assigned seating, with adjacent seats for persons in social bubble groups/family units. Clients must provide reception seating plans and verify social bubble groups at least two weeks in advance of the event.
Currently, our seating capacity for receptions in the ballroom is 30 guests to allow for proper distancing.

For tent receptions, our seating capacity is currently limited to 100 guests, in order to comply with Stage 3 gathering limits.

A maximum of 6 guests will be seated per table.

Requirements for All Persons on Site, Including Clients, Guests, Staff and Vendors

SWMI will maintain mandatory logs for all persons entering the venue to enable contact tracing. Couples will be required to provide a list of all guests’ first and last names, phone numbers, and email addresses at least two weeks in advance of their event date, which will be provided to public health on request. If there is a case of COVID-19 who was contagious while at the venue, public health will use that list to notify all persons who were on site.

SWMI is following Ontario public health’s recommendations for COVID prevention by implementing to the following standards:

  • All persons are required to perform a health self-check prior to entering the venue.
    • The check in will include answering the following questions:
      • Are you feeling unwell, or do you have a fever, aches, respiratory symptoms, loss of smell or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19?
      • Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19, and have not yet been confirmed as Recovered?
      • Have you been exposed to or in close proximity to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
      • Have you travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days?
    • Anyone who answers yes to any of the above questions will not be permitted to enter the venue. They are asked to stay home, self-isolate and contact provincial health authorities about getting tested for COVID-19.
    • By choosing to proceed to the event venue, all persons are confirming:
      • that they are answering NO to the above questions
      • that they understand that we do not guarantee a COVID-19 free environment
      • that they understand the potential risks of attending the event include potentially contracting COVID-19
  • Signage will also indicate the following guidelines for behaviour on site, requesting all persons to:
    • Wear a mask in all indoor areas and also in outdoor areas when physical distancing cannot be guaranteed. Masks may only be removed by event guests for the seated consumption of food or beverage, or during posed photography or videography of individuals in small groups of persons in the same social bubble, or to deliver services
    • Use hand sanitizing products upon arrival and to wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently
    • Maintain physical distancing of more than 6 feet with people outside of your social bubble

Venue Cleaning and Sanitization

SWMI will continue to maintain rigorous cleanliness and sanitization standards.

Every event will have a dedicated custodial attendant who will deliver cleaning and disinfectant procedures with a focus on frequently touched surfaces such as faucets, toilet flushers, doorknobs, and locks, before, during and after each scheduled event.

The venue areas accessed by any persons will be cleaned prior to and following each event.

Hand sanitizer will be available and provided by the venue.

Food and Beverage Services

All food and beverage can only be consumed by guests while they are seated and while at a 2m distance from any persons not in a social bubble group.

Food and beverage will be served by staff to seated guests. There are no self-serve buffet stations of open items or self-service coffee stations. Packaged/sealed or prepared items may be picked up by guests at attended tables, and taken to a seat for consumption.

Menu offerings for food and beverage may be reduced or adjusted to minimize cross-contamination and comply with health guidelines. This can include food items being individually prepared, separated and/or wrapped and served directly to each guest.

Staff ratios may increase as required to facilitate safe food service. Staff will be assigned designated preparation, service and clearing duties with protocols for transitioning between these roles if required.

Plexi barriers may be installed at beverage and food service areas as required.

Dancing and Singing

The following rules currently apply in our district health unit:

  • No one is allowed to dance, sing or perform music except if they are a hired performer, musician or entertainer. To perform, they must:
    • Be separated from guests and other performers by plexiglass or another impermeable barrier while singing or performing on a brass/wind instrument
    • Maintain a physical distance of at least 2-meters from every other person while singing or performing music
    • Clean and disinfect equipment used while singing or performing music between each use.
  • There is one exception to the dancing rule: a first dance is allowed for the bride and groom and their parents

For more information, please see the Haliburton, Kawartha, and Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s section on weddings here

SWMI Event Staff

Event Staff will abide by the following venue operational procedures:

  • All staff are to stay home if they are ill or exhibiting any cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms. All managers and supervisors are responsible for screening staff under their direction to be cleared for work at the beginning of their shift.
  • Any new staff on site will have an orientation with a venue manager to be educated in the new procedures in the workplace regarding COVID-19.
  • Workplace managers are to ensure the regular disinfection of areas that workers frequently use and share.
  • All event staff will follow strict hygiene and sanitation practices. Proper handwashing techniques are required at the beginning and end of every work shift and before and after preparing any food or beverage products, or consuming any food or beverages.
  • Event staff are encouraged to practice physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Face masks are required by event staff at all times.
  • Event staff are to sanitize any equipment they handle that will be in contact with or handled by another worker, client, or guest before and after each use. While handling large amounts of equipment and loading/unloading equipment from vehicles, event staff should wear gloves to avoid touching surfaces.
  • Event staff will be directed to use a designated restroom, and are to observe physical distancing while inside or waiting for restrooms.


Including photographers, DJs, florists, officiants, etc.

SWMI is not responsible for vendor compliance with any provincial and municipal regulations applicable to their type of business.

Vendor Staff will be required to comply with the following procedures:

  • Face masks are required to be worn by vendors at all times. If vendors are stationary and physically distanced from guests, they may remove their masks for specific periods of time (i.e. musicians, officiants, etc.).
  • Entertainment/Musicians will be limited to DJs, piano and string instrument musicians for wedding ceremonies. Reception music is limited to pre-recorded music. Singing and/or wind instruments are not permitted, unless performers are separated from all other persons by plexi barriers (supplied by the vendor).

SWMI Postponement Policy

Federal and/or Provincial Government Restrictions

In the case where an order is enacted by the Federal Canadian Government and/or Provincial Government of Ontario that prevents the delivery of the agreed upon Services as detailed in the Event Booking Agreement on the Event Date, the following option will be available to couples solely in this situation and for no other reason:

The HOST may choose to postpone the Event Date to a mutually agreed upon date with PROVIDER in the future. In such case, all deposits paid to PROVIDER will be applied to the new date. If the Event is postponed to a new date within the same calendar year as the original Event Date (ie. within 12 months), and it is the first postponement by HOST, there will be no administration fee payable to PROVIDER. If, however, the Event is postponed to a date not within the same calendar year from the original Event Date, or is not the first postponement by HOST, a non-refundable administrative fee in the amount of TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($2,500) CAD will become payable by the HOST to PROVIDER as of the time of confirming the new date for the Event.

In the event the HOST chooses to postpone, 30% of anticipated costs will remain due and payable according to the original deposit schedule (ie. 6 months prior to the original Event Date), and the remainder of the deposit schedule will be updated to reflect the new date.

The HOST acknowledges and understands that the availability of new dates may be limited to a different day of the week (ie. midweek) or month of the year.

The HOST acknowledges that an alternate but comparable venue may be offered in the event the Inn becomes unavailable.

SWMI has the right to postpone an event anytime within 30 days from the event date due to COVID restrictions in the GTA, Lakeland or Muskoka region if different from Kawartha Lakes Health Unit.

If the HOST elects not to proceed with the above-noted option, all deposits received by PROVIDER are non-refundable to the HOST, with the exception of the security deposit as noted in Section 3 of the contract.