Wedding receptions allowed with tough new rules and 30 guest limit

14 August 2020, 09:40

Couples will be able to have up to 30 guests at celebrations in most parts of England
Couples will be able to have up to 30 guests at celebrations in most parts of England. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Newlyweds will be allowed to have up to 30 guests at wedding receptions following a further easing of England's coronavirus lockdown.

The Prime Minister announced from Saturday happy couples will be able to celebrate with friends and family at a small event following the ceremony.

But, Boris Johnson was clear that the location must stick to Covid-19 rules and cannot take place in people's homes or gardens.

However, couples in parts of the North West under local lockdown who are hoping to tie the knot will have to wait.

East Lancashire, parts of West Yorkshire. and Greater Manchester are under local lockdown after a spike in cases.

Currently, people living in those areas are only allowed up to six people from different households in an outdoor public place.

Previously plans to allow receptions to go ahead from August 1 were postponed by the Prime Minister with just 24 hours notice due to a rise in the prevalence of coronavirus in the community.

Making the announcement, Mr Johnson acknowledged that it would be "a real blow" to those who had made plans.

Updated guidance says that, where possible, attendees at a wedding reception should remain seated, while dancing should not be allowed due a risk of transmission.

Seating arrangements should follow social distancing guidance, meaning at most two households are seated together, with outdoor table service preferred.

Activities such as cake cutting should limit the number of guests involved where possible, the guidance states, while recommending that throwing of confetti or a bouquet is avoided.

It says that speeches should be given outside or in well-ventilated areas and advises that neither the speaker or any observers raise their voices, to avoid a risk of aerosol transmission of the virus.

Previously, wedding receptions or parties were not allowed to take place, with any celebration following the ceremony instructed to follow the social distancing rules of six people outside or two households inside.

Weddings and civil partnerships with up to 30 guests have been permitted in England since July 4, where this can be safely accommodated whilst adhering to social distancing.

This is the maximum number for all attendees at the event, including the couple, guests and any third-party suppliers, such as photographers.

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