Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced he is “putting the brakes” on lockdown easing restrictions as infection rates creep back up across England.
On 31 July, Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference that this would be impacting weddings, which had been part of the relaxing rules in the last update.
Wedding receptions of up to 30 people were meant to be allowed but are now going to be postponed – ceremonies may still take place.
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Mr Johnson said: “I know that the steps we’re taking will be a real blow to many people, to everyone whose wedding plans have been disrupted…I’m really really sorry about that but we simply cannot take the risk.”
So what are the rules on weddings going forward?
What were the rules on weddings?
During lockdown couples were prevented from having wedding ceremonies of any size. “You can’t have a wedding ceremony or party at the moment – you’re not allowed to have gatherings of more than two people,” said Citizens Advice during March to June.
“If you’re getting married in a Church of England church, you’ll need to check with them when marriage ceremonies will be allowed again. For any other type of wedding, check with your registry office to see when marriage ceremonies will be allowed again – find your nearest registry office on GOV.UK.”
How have rules changed now?
Wedding ceremonies have been permitted since 4 July, with up to 30 guests, but the government strongly advised receptions did not take place. It warned against any celebrations which typically follow or accompany marriages.
Then on 17 July, the prime minister said that small receptions of up to 30 people could ahead from 1 August.
But, 24 hours before the rules were set to change, the government retracted the statement saying: “Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted but ceremonies can continue to take place in line with Covid Secure guidelines.”
The rules will be reviewed again on 15 August – in two weeks time.
During lockdown the government acknowledged how restrictions were impacting couples, with advice reading: “We understand the frustration couples planning a wedding must be feeling.
“As with all coronavirus restrictions on places of worship, venues and social distancing, we will look to ease them as soon as it is safe to do so.”