Couples angry about G7 meetings as weddings still in limbo: ‘It’s a complete guessing game’

Government to announce delay in lifting of all lockdown restrictions until 19 July

Kate Ng
Monday 14 June 2021 11:58
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The government is expected to announce a delay in the lifting of all lockdown restrictions, throwing weddings scheduled after 21 June into limbo and sparking accusations of hypocrisy over the G7 Summit.

World leaders and representatives attended a big barbecue feast on Carbis Bay as part of the Cornwall-based summit, drawing ire from couples facing uncertainty about whether large gatherings for weddings will be able to go ahead.

The wedding industry has been hit hard by lockdown restrictions, with The UK Weddings Taskforce estimating that 50,000 nuptials planned for the month following 21 June could be cancelled if current restrictions stay in place.

Images of the G7 barbecue taken from above showed little social distancing among the leaders as they mingled, and most people apart from staff working at the event were seen wearing face masks.

Sarah Haywood, a spokesperson for the taskforce, said the scenes from the event would be in breach of current rules if the attendees were at a wedding.

She told The Telegraph: “They’re doing things that would not be allowed at a wedding, the hypocrisy!”

A couple from Hertfordshire, Sam Penney and Steve Weaver, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “We’re clinging on to some hope that there might be an element of easement for weddings.”

The couple, who are hoping to marry on 25 June with 139 guests after a year’s delay, added: “But it’s a complete guessing game, we’ve kind of gone around in circles giving ourselves various circumstances and scenarios that might happen, but we have no idea.

“So if it stays where it is with 30 (guests), for us as a couple we will have to postpone again, but we’re just clinging on to some hope.

“It’s been crazy from one day to the next we don’t know what’s happening, it’s all we ever talk about, just consumed by it.

“It’s just the uncertainty that’s ruining the whole experience that we’re supposed to be enjoying.”

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab defended the G7 Summit and insisted the people who attended practiced social distancing.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “It was outside, it was very well-ventilated on the beach… We have taken every measure possible to make sure this is not just Covid-secure, but able to take place.”

Philips then asked if that was a signal that weddings could have more than 30 guests, which is the current limit under lockdown restrictions, if they took place outdoors like the G7 dinner did.

Raab replied: “There have always been different principles for social entertainment or weddings than for government business.

“I think your viewers will understand the serious business of bringing leaders together to bring back the economy stronger, greener, deal with the pandemic, shift the point at which the whole world is vaccinated from 2024 to the middle of next year – that’s serious business they’re engaged in amidst all the leisure activities on the beach.”

His comments sparked backlash from frustrated couples, who accused him of “belittling” weddings.

One Twitter user said: “This is an utter insult! One rule for politicians and another for the rest of us! The significance and importance of someone’s wedding day should not be belittled like this when couples have been through so much already.”

Another on the social media platform said: “What, and my wedding isn’t serious business? My life has been put on hold for over a year. We are due to get married a week on Saturday and have no idea if my family can be there or not?!”

Prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Monday that the next stage of lifting lockdown restrictions, which had been planned from 21 June, will be delayed until 19 July.

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