On May the 17th in England, we saw the country switch into the next phase out of the current COVID lockdown. Met with a sigh of relief by many of us, hospitality settings have once again opened their doors, and so have the doors of our friends and family, with us now able to pay visits to the homes of loved ones.
Under new guidance, weddings and civil ceremonies are now also allowed to take place, which for many people across the country have been a total enigma for the past year and a half. The lockdown all but halted flamboyant weddings from happening, with the most recent restrictions allowing just 15 people to attend the ceremony. As a result, many people decided instead to postpone their big day, thanks to guest list limitations, venue closures and the general feeling of risk associated with socialising that has come about as a result of the coronavirus.
So, what does the guidance currently state?
In England, there are still stringent restrictions in place to make sure that your wedding remains enjoyable and safe during the current phase of the pandemic. We do hope that in just a few months time, as more social distancing restrictions are lifted, we'll be able to enjoy weddings just like in the good old days! For now though, until the 21st of June 2021 at least, we do have a responsibility to ensure we keep each other safe.
At the time of writing, Weddings and Civil Partnerships are permitted to take place, indoors with up to 30 people in a COVID secure venue. This means within the venue that social distancing measures and track and trace efforts are in place.
Furthermore, with regards to Wedding and Civil Ceremony Receptions, according to the UK GOV website:
Receptions and celebrations will be permitted to take place with up to 30 people. They can take place either indoors in a COVID-secure venue (this does not include private homes), or outdoors (which does include private gardens). Although there is no requirement to be COVID-secure in a private garden, the organiser should take all reasonable steps to limit the risks of transmission and must adhere to the gathering limit of up to 30 people. If the event is taking place outdoors, it can be partially sheltered with, for example, a marquee, provided that at least 50% of the walled area remains open.
A broader range of venues will be able to be open at this step, as set out in the roadmap. Any venue which is not required in law to remain closed will be able to host events and allow viewings with appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures in place. This includes, for example, any restaurant or indoor visitor attraction.
For up to date information on the current COVID guidance with regards to weddings, civil ceremonies and more, check out the guidance on the UK GOV website.