When will weddings be allowed? New Covid lockdown rules explained
BORIS Johnson is set to clarify rules for weddings in 2021 when he unveils his lockdown roadmap later today.
Thousands of couples forced to postpone their big days due to Covid in 2020 and with ceremonies arranged this year will be on tenterhooks to discover how their plans will be affected.
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Under current rules, wedding ceremonies are only permitted to take place in exceptional circumstances – such as a bride or groom being terminally ill.
Receptions are banned altogether under the national lockdown.
Boris Johnson is set to announce the lifting of restrictions on the hospitality industry in the House of Commons at 3.30pm today.
The PM is expected to reveal pubs and restaurants will be able to open for outdoor table service in April.
Venues will be allowed to open their doors to allow customers indoors in May, if four key tests from the vaccine rollout to deaths continuing to fall are met.
Last summer, weddings were allowed to resume but with a maximum of 30 attendees – including brides and grooms – and social distancing.
It is currently unclear if limited weddings will be re-introduced along with the partial opening of hospitality, or when weddings with unlimited numbers will be allowed.
Boris Johnson has previously said he hopes weddings will be able to 'get hitched in the normal way' by summer 2021.
He told a Downing Street press conference: "My hope is by summer it really will be a different world for the weddings and events industry.
"I hope that your potential customers will be full of confidence and optimism as well and will be getting hitched in the normal way.
"I think you should be able to plan for a much more active summer and lots of happy nuptial events all over the UK."
Hospitality bosses have warned the PM the wedding industry, which supports 400,000 jobs across the UK economy, could face meltdown if receptions do not resume this summer.
Tamryn Settle, campaign manager of #WhatAboutWeddings said: "The vast majority of couples who were planning April and May weddings have already decided to postpone because they had no information and no confidence in the publication of ‘the plan'.
"Businesses are also reporting that summer couples are now also losing confidence.
"For weddings to go ahead in any form this summer, we need a roadmap to a safe reopening and we need to know what restrictions will be in place and what the conditions will be for easing these further."
The PM has faced growing pressure from his own Tory MPs to support the wedding industry by making the return of ceremonies and receptions a priority.
A group of 13 senior Tory MPs, led by Esther McVey and Philip Davies have called for Covid-secure events to return from next month and unrestricted weddings from May 1.
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