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COVID-19: Limits on weddings in England to be scrapped from 21 June

Written by on 15 June 2021

The limit on the number of people who can attend weddings in England will be scrapped from 21 June – but rules on singing and dancing will remain, the government has announced.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed the 30-person cap on wedding ceremonies and receptions will be removed as planned, as he announced a four-week delay to the lifting of all COVID restrictions.

Other restrictions being eased before the new Freedom Day on 19 July will see at least 40,000 football fans allowed inside Wembley to watch the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final.

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Pic: AP Image: Thousands of England fans watched the team’s opening Euro 2020 game on Sunday. Pic: AP

The Wimbledon tennis championships will also have full capacity crowds to watch the men’s final and women’s final – the first UK outdoor sporting events to do so since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Any limits on wedding guests from 21 June will be set by venues based on social distancing requirements, the prime minister said.

Couples had voiced fears their wedding plans would be ruined if the 30-person limit was not removed as part of England’s roadmap out of lockdown.

However Tory MP Elliot Colburn said lifting the cap on wedding guests was a “smokescreen” as many restrictions will remain when couples marry, including limits on singing and a ban on dancing, except for the first dance.

He said he was “thinking of those fellow 50,000 couples whose dreams of getting married in the coming weeks have been cruelly scuppered today”.

“Lifting the cap on numbers is a smokescreen when the majority of what most couples would expect to do at a wedding cannot take place,” Mr Colburn wrote on Twitter.

“I am utterly heartbroken that many couples, like us, will now be looking to postpone their wedding for at least the second time, but in some cases the third or even more than that.”

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Boris Johnson delays easing to 19 July

As part of the rules for weddings from 21 June and before all restrictions are due to lifted on 19 July, guests will be told to sit on tables of up to six people and receptions will be table service only.

Dancefloors are forbidden inside, while for private ceremonies outdoors, dancing will not be illegal, but will be strongly advised against.

For weddings taking place inside private homes, the limit of six individuals will remain, with an exception in place for deathbed ceremonies where 30 people can attend.

The 30-person limit at wakes will also be scrapped.

During the PM’s news conference, a bride-to-be, who had to postpone her wedding twice, asked him why testing and vaccination status cannot be used to open up weddings in the same way it is being used for football matches.

She said it felt like weddings are “bottom of the priority list despite being significant life events without which some people cannot progress with their lives”.

Mr Johnson said: “I’m very, very sorry to hear about your wedding plans being postponed twice. Indeed obviously I’m sorry for all the disappointment that’s going to be caused by going a bit slower as we are today.”

He added: “All I can say is I’m sorry for the disappointment that this will certainly bring to weddings, to many, many businesses, but it’s a few weeks that I think is worth it to get those jabs in.”

Other restrictions being eased from 21 June include rules for care home residents who will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days after day visits out.

Mr Johnson has delayed the lifting of all lockdown restrictions in England to 19 July due to concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant first identified in India.

However the extension will be reviewed to see if action can be taken two weeks sooner on 5 July.