Weddings CAN go ahead indoors for 15 people at hotels and other licensed premises from April 12 after ministers relent – but receptions must still be outdoors
- Wedding industry had vented fury that larger events might not return on April 12
- Roadmap says that up to 15 people are able to attend when rules are loosened
- Claims there was confusion over whether that meant events can happen indoors
- Government now clarified weddings can happen indoors at all licensed premises
- However, receptions must still be outdoors despite frustration from businesses
Larger weddings will be allowed to go ahead from April 12 after ministers relented in the face of claims 7,000 couples would have to cancel.
The industry body says the government has clarified that hotels and other licensed premises will be allowed to stage ceremonies for up to 15 people inside when the lockdown easing takes effect.
Earlier this month it looked like weddings would only be permitted at places of worship, public buildings and outdoor hospitality settings.
But the UK Weddings Taskforce warned that would have excluded licensed venues where 71 per cent of weddings usually take place – with claims 7,000 might have to be postponed or cancelled.
It has now emerged that the government has conceded that all venues licensed to conduct ceremonies will be allowed to hold them indoors from April 12 – even though many would not otherwise be allowed to be open.
That includes hotels, conference centres, and holiday accommodation.
However, the taskforce said the government had told them there will not be flexibility on the tough restrictions for receptions.
The government’s roadmap said that up to 15 people – not including children aged under five – can attend weddings and receptions when the loosening takes place next month (Stock image)
It has emerged there was confusion about whether the April 12 date merely applied to gatherings outdoors, or also meant events could be staged inside
Clarification issued to the industry body said: ‘The rules for wedding receptions are different. The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors.
‘That is why at Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April – wedding receptions can resume but must take place outdoors. These cannot take place I private gardens and should only take place in a Covid-secure venue.’
Weddings Taskforce spokeswoman Sarah Haywood told MailOnline: “ We understand why the activities of sector were curtailed when we were in the eye of the storm, battling the pandemic and protecting lives.
‘But with the successful vaccine rollout, and the opportunities offered by testing to establish the Covid-status, we do not understand why this sector is once again left behind.
‘We can host events within the guidelines just as venues who host wider events will be doing for those.”
The PM’s roadmap announced in February said that up to 15 people – not including children aged under five – could attend weddings and receptions when the loosening takes place next month.
But there was confusion about whether that merely applied to gatherings outdoors, or also meant events could be staged inside.
The schedule published in February stated that from April 12: ‘Weddings, receptions, and commemorative events including wakes will be able to take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).’
Up to six people are allowed to attend weddings from March 29, after months when ceremonies were only permitted in ‘exceptional’ circumstances.
The attendance figure is set to rise to 30 from May before all limits are removed the following month.
Boris Johnson himself is thought to be planning to marry fiancee Carrie Symonds when the restrictions are eased – although they have not revealed any date.
Boris Johnson himself is thought to be planning to marry fiancee Carrie Symonds when the restrictions are eased – although they have not revealed any date