Restrictions on weddings and funerals to be lifted in summer
Restrictions on weddings and funerals will be lifted completely from the summer, the Government has announced.
All limits on weddings and other life events in England are to be removed from June 21 subject to the outcome of a review by scientists.
The plans were unveiled as Boris Johnson delivered his road map out of lockdown restrictions in the Commons on Monday.
Under current rules, weddings are only allowed in “exceptional circumstances”, such as in cases of terminal illness or life-changing surgery.
In England, 30 people are permitted to attend a funeral under the coronavirus regulations.
From March 8, rules around funerals will stay the same, proceeding with 30 attendees and wakes allowing six guests.
Weddings will still be limited to six people but will not be limited to exceptional circumstances.
After April 12, weddings and wakes will be allowed 15 guests, with funerals remaining at 30.
From May 17, the number of guests permitted will be 30, also applying to other life events, such as bar mitzvahs and christenings.
All legal limits on social contact at weddings and funerals will be lifted completely from June 21.
The Prime Minister told the Commons that in step four “we will aim to remove all legal limits on social contact and on weddings and other life events”.
Reacting to Monday’s announcement #WhatAboutWeddings, a campaign which aims to raise awareness of the pressures on the industry said the restrictions should be lifted “much sooner”.
A spokesman said: “Today’s announcement means that the wedding industry will still be unable to operate in a way that is financially viable and many will also now face a slew of cancellations as suppliers such as bands, DJs and others are not permitted in the reopening plan.
“Couples who choose not to go ahead in the months with capped numbers or those that don’t feel confident for increases in numbers or relaxation in rules will also postpone or cancel, creating further problems for business, delaying the recovery and increasing the need for significant financial support.”
It said the Government missed a “golden opportunity” to allow outdoor weddings to resume sooner.
It comes a week after Conservative backbenchers urged Mr Johnson to allow Covid-safe weddings to resume from March 8 before permitting unrestricted ceremonies from May 1.
Former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey had said: “Vaccinating the top nine risk groups will prevent around 99% of deaths from Covid and around 80% of hospital admissions.
“That should be a huge moment for the UK to hold its head up high, for couples to walk down the aisle, and for families up and down the country to reunite, to celebrate and to plan their futures.”