Coronavirus: Wedding ceremonies to be allowed with up to 30 people

Boris Johnson has announced a further easing of lockdown measures in the House of Commons

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 23 June 2020 15:30 BST
Johnson announces wedding ceremonies of up to 30 people allowed to go ahead

Wedding ceremonies have been given permission to go ahead with a limited number of people under the new lockdown update for England.

On Tuesday 23 June, Boris Johnson announced the latest measures to lift lockdown restrictions in the country.

The prime minister confirmed that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers are to be allowed to reopen from 4 July, while the two-metre social distancing guideline has been reduced to one metre.

Mr Johnson also announced that wedding ceremonies involving up to 30 people outdoors will be allowed to go ahead, while places of worship are permitted to reopen for prayer and services.

He added that wedding ceremonies can only take place "subject to social distancing".

The government is expected to release detailed guidance on how the latest lifting of lockdown measures will work in practise.

The Church of England welcomed the prime minister announcement regarding weddings, stating that information for couples who are getting married will be published on its website next week.

Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, said "there will be real joy as we begin to come together again – if even at a physical distance".

"But I also know that many will be understandably cautious at this news," she added. "We will not be returning to normality overnight.

"We've been planning carefully, making detailed advice available for parishes to enable them to prepare to hold services when it is safe and practical to do so."

Bishop Mullally added that it is "important" to note that the government's guidelines are "permissive, not prescriptive".

On 19 March, the Church of England announced that wedding ceremonies would be restricted to five people.

However, when lockdown commenced on 23 March, the rules changed again to ban all weddings along with any other type of social gathering.

Some people in extreme circumstances were permitted to get married.

For example, Roy Wilson, who has terminal bone cancer, was given special dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry his long-term partner Jill Hird in hospital after he displayed symptoms of Covid-19. He has since tested negative.

The Church of England outlines that it is not currently possible under English law for a wedding to take place using video conferencing technology without the couple, priest and witnesses being physically present.

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