Kashrut authority warns caterers: Ensure simchahs comply with Covid safety rules

KLBD says caterers 'must be confident that the event will be lawful' as it issues new guidance


Caterers licensed by the Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din have been warned not to breach government restrictions on celebratory gatherings.

In new guidance issued by the KLBD, caterers are told that if booked for an event at a private home, "they must be confident that the event will be lawful and understand the steps being taken by the hosts to fulfil all relevant government guidance".

In any circumstances, if the host wants to involve more than two households, "the event must be outside [and] appropriate social distancing must be in place.

"KLBD caterers must not cater an event at a private home for more than two households inside or 30 people outside."

At other venues where it is possible to have more than 30 people for "non-life cycle events", a KLBD caterer would "need to ensure that the venue has a manager who has the skills and knowledge necessary for the task - and that the organiser has carried out the required risk assessment effectively and has assessed that the approach to following government guidance is reasonable".

But for celebrations such as weddings, "30 is our limit for catered meals, assuming the venue has enough space to achieve the necessary social distancing".

The authority is currently permitting catering for sit-down meals only – not stand-up receptions.

It suggests that consideration be given to "orientation" – for example, avoiding people sitting face-to-face. "In circumstances where multiple [household] units are permissible, the units must not engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or undertake any other activity with each other, otherwise they become one big unit and break the rules."

The KLBD points out that while caterers must meet Covid-secure standards, "it is important that all involved understand that this minimises, rather than eliminates, the Covid-19 related risks that we all face".

It appreciated "the enormous challenges faced by our caterers at this unprecedented time" and pledged its "utmost support".

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