Express & Star

What are the wedding rules in England?

The partial relaxation of restrictions on May 17 saw the cap on attendees lifted from 15.

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Wedding Rings

Boris Johnson’s reported wedding to Carrie Symonds comes amid ongoing Covid restrictions placed on the celebrations of couples.

According to Government guidance for England, up to 30 people can be at wedding and civil partnership ceremonies at Covid-secure venues that are permitted to open.

Receptions and celebrations are also permitted for up to 30 people indoors or outdoors.

Anyone working at events is not counted in the limits.

The partial relaxation of restrictions on May 17 saw the cap on attendees lifted from 15 to allow greater numbers of people to celebrate in Covid-secure venues.

Coronavirus – Sun Jul 5, 2020
Weddings in lockdown have faced restrictions (Peter Byrne/PA)

Children of all ages are included in the limits on the number of attendees for both ceremonies and receptions.

Overall, the guidance advises that ceremonies and services “should be concluded in a reasonable time and be limited to those elements to ensure the marriage or civil partnership is valid in law”.

Current rules say wedding guests and staff are required to wear face coverings, except when eating or drinking or where exemptions apply.

Venues and places of worship can provide food and drink, but must adhere to the guidance covering hospitality.

Guests do not have to be placed on socially distanced tables, but should be served all food and drink while seated.

People are encourage to “exercise caution” in relation to social distancing at events and are warned that close contact “including hugging” increases the risk of spreading Covid-19

Amateur choirs, bands, or musicians may also perform at events in a group of up to six indoors, while outdoors, they can perform in multiple groups of up to 30.

But the guidelines also state: “Dancing is advised against due to the increased risk of transmission, except the couple’s ‘first dance’.”

The rules also advise that speeches should be delivered outside or in “well ventilated areas wherever possible”.

The Government is aiming to lift all limits on weddings from June 21, but this will depend on the outcome of a social distancing review, the events research programme, as well as the impact of coronavirus variants.

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