COVID-19 FAQs 2021

Level Four lockdown really knocked the stuffing out of our puddings being timed exactly halfway through the Festival! But we haven’t let that deter us, we know how important this Festival is and have been busy working away on plans to restart when it’s possible. Here’s some answers to those burning Burger Wellington questions we’re sure you have .. 

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand how the Festival will work in 2021.

YAY! We’ve reached Level 2 - Wellington On a Plate is restarting, but what happens now? Can I start eating yet? 

Those who are over home cooking will welcome the news that Visa Wellington On a Plate is serving up a second helping and restarting culinary festivities at Level 2 - albeit with mandatory scanning, masks and distanced dining, for the time being. 

Festival events, Garage Project presents Burger Wellington and Cocktail Wellington presented by Tommy’s will recommence from Wednesday, 8 September. Ticketed Festival events are in the process of planning new dates, where possible, with event organisers and iTICKET contacting ticket holders with updates, shortly. Festival ratings will also return at Level 2, with diners able to rate the burgers and cocktails they’ve tried on the Festival website. 

The plan is to now run the remainder of Visa Wellington On a Plate for up to four weeks from this Wednesday, depending on level changes, which could also potentially include a return to Level 1. 

The scheduled four weeks will help to account for the reality that Festival venues will serve less people under Level 2 restrictions (limited to 50 per venue). However, the region’s hospitality industry is well-versed when it comes to working to Covid-19 guidelines. Wellington’s hospitality industry is very nimble when it comes to accommodating those rules of separate, seated service and, now, ensuring diners are scanning in and masked up. Yes, it’s challenging, but this is what has to be done to open doors again, as well as keeping diners safe and confident when dining out. 

We ask that you please be patient and kind with the hospitality industry and Visa Wellington On a Plate Festival organisers as we to the perimeters of the latest government Level 2 announcement.  

Much like we are as festival organisers, the hospitality industry is planning and making decisions in line with the official Covid-19 announcements, so that message of being kind extends to these businesses as they get back into the swing of the festival. It has been an incredibly stressful time for them, so please be mindful as they accommodate the logistics of this new version of Level 2 as you’re supporting your local cafes, restaurants and bars. Get out there, enjoy it safely - we are fortunate we can now go out and support our eateries!

When will Visa Wellington On a Plate restart? 

The Festival team works closely with our local hospitality industry who have determined that the best time to restart the Festival is when the Wellington region reaches Level 2, with the ideal Festival experience taking place at Level 1. (Cocktail Wellington can only run from Level 2 due dining-in restrictions.)

For Festival Events, these will be re-timed where possible by event organisers. Unfortunately there may be some cases where the original event can no longer run, and in those cases refunds for ticket holders will be available. 

There are no additional fees charged to festival participants for the 2021 Festival.

So, in short: 

  • Visa Wellington On a Plate will recommence at Level 2
  • It’s our plan to run the remainder of Visa Wellington On a Plate for no more than four weeks of which there will be a maximum of two weeks of the Festival at Level 1, if we reach Level 1 within four weeks of recommencing Festival activity
  • So, this might mean that the festival only runs for another three weeks if, for example, Level 2 is only one week long
  • We’ll make our decisions in line with the official Covid-19 announcements

Please check back here or on our digital channels for updates.

How did you come to this decision? 

We consulted with our festival participants, and planned our approach based on the industry feedback we received. 

Why are we continuing Burger Wellington only at Levels 1 & 2? 

Visa Wellington On a Plate is a festival that brings people out of their homes and into restaurants, bars and hospitality venues. We believe that the best festival experience happens when food is served hot from the kitchen and you can interact with Wellington’s amazing hospo personalities IRL. The festival team, and festival participants, are committed to this kaupapa, hence our decision to hold off until Level 2 which makes dining out possible again. 

What are we doing to help the industry? 

Until we reach Level 2, we’ll be re-launching At Yours with Visa Wellington On a Plate in partnership with WellingtonNZ, a one stop online directory of food and beverage producers and suppliers offering contactless delivery, pick up and takeaway at Level 3. With hundreds of local suppliers offering everything from ready made meals, baking, drinks, condiments, there’ll be something for everyone ready to take a night off cooking! More to come on that later .. 

Will it be safe to dine in?

Yes! Wellington hospo takes the issue of health and safety very seriously. Every venue who participates will be required to abide by current public health and safety measures as determined by the government, which may include physical distancing, restrictions on numbers and contact tracing. Additionally, food and beverage venues already have stringent health and safety practices in place so we're confident you'll be well looked after. 

What happens to my Festival Event tickets?

For Festival Events we continue to work with event organisers - all Festival Events are still part of the programme, however the reality is for some organisers it's not feasible to postpone Festival Events. If you hold tickets to Festival Events you should have received communications from our ticketing agency iTICKET. If you haven't received an email from iTICKET yet, please email us at Event organisers will be in touch as we know more about the level changes over the coming days/weeks.

Can I get a refund on my event tickets?

You will be refunded for any of the following reasons:

  • A cancellation by the event organiser 
  • If we are to go back into any official lockdown levels beyond Level 2 which restricts travel in and out of regions that may affect you personally.

Please be mindful however that Festival Event tickets cannot be refunded due to a change in mind.

What if I can't make a postponed Festival Event? 

Once postponement dates have been set, all ticket holders will be notified via iTicket and given then option to refund their tickets if they cannot make the new date. You will also have the option to split this refund with the event organiser. This contribution goes directly to the venue running the event - not Visa Welly On a Plate.

Will the Festival be safe under Level 2?

Yes! Visa Welly On a Plate can run under Level 2, Level 1 and no levels! The Festival happens all around the Greater Wellington region in many of our restaurants/bars/eateries/hospitality venues. They’re all experts at operating under different Level restrictions, with contact tracing and physical distancing procedures and protocols in place for your safety and comfort.

We are optimistic that this current lockdown will end soon, so in the meantime check out our home delivery list of food and beverage suppliers that are able to do contactless delivery across the region. If you see anyone missing, please let us know at and we will update the list as soon as possible.

What about mass gatherings?

The majority of events in the programme this year are under 100 people. If we are still in Level 2 in October when the Festival starts, all Festival Events will be required to comply with appropriate mass gathering restrictions at that time. 

What if I can’t travel due to Covid-19?

If you are unable to travel to Wellington for Visa Welly On a Plate due to any official regional or national lockdown, any event tickets you have purchased will be refunded in accordance with our ticket refund policy. We will require proof of travel cancellation to process ticket refunds (e.g. Air New Zealand ticket credit).

Hey. If you've read this far, thanks for understanding. We know Visa Wellington On a Plate is a festival close to Wellingtonian's hearts and we know it's going to be a little different this year. But we will be back and it's still going to be the big old fun food festival that you know and love. Don't you worry about that!