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Chris Barker

Latest UK Covid Wedding News

UK wedding guest numbers dealt another blow, as Covid-19 cases rise to put more pressure on wedding sector.

Timeline of New Coronavirus Rules Implemented

DT is focusing its attentions on a pandemic which isn’t going anywhere in a hurry this year. Bringing you the latest UK Covid wedding news. And word that the wonderful world of weddings has been subjected to another untimely body blow.

Wedding parties have already spent 6 months adhering to unavoidable stop-start-stop government guidance. Yet now the UK wedding industry has learned of further rule amendments. Barely weeks after familiarising themselves with those which previously represented the ‘new normal’.

The government has again revised the ever-decreasing circles that weddings can operate within. Socially-speaking. Flagging up the legal implications for the foreseeable.

Guest List Numbers Slashed, as Government Release Latest UK Covid Wedding News

Like pretty much everything during 2020, we’re talking about playing a numbers game again. Until late, Covid-19 curbs allowed wedding planners to make appropriate arrangements for up to 30 guests. Now that digit has been halved to accomodate no more than 15.

Although Westminster-devolved seats of power located elsewhere in the UK have set their own slightly differing agendas on this issue. Fundamentally meaning that even this very latest numerical reordering isn’t without borders.

And let’s not forget, there’s also the ‘Rule of Six’ to bear in mind. And how that might impinge on nuptials from this day forward.

The latest UK Covid wedding news clarifies that the latter isn’t actually something brides and grooms need worry unduly about, however. The ‘rule of six’ a noted exception to these particular new rulings ushered in. At least, for the time being.

Feeling confused at this point? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the government is seemingly – and numerically – making up the rules (of 6 and otherwise) as they go along. As we all brush up on the latest UK Covid wedding news. Which of course for all intents and purpose, they effectively have to.

Principly due to having little choice in the matter.

Research collated from the fields of science and medicine continuing to shape the way Covid-19 is both pro and reactively handled by powerbrokers. Resulting in those we look to for direction during this crisis having to act under intense scrutiny.

Who would want to swap places with these movers and shakers. Tasked with managing – and precariously balancing – human wellbeing with keeping economies afloat, simultaneously. Who can only really adapt to rapidly-changing circumstances on the hoof during these times of uncertainty.

So we need to cut them some slack.

But Getting Back to Weddings Here in the UK and The New Rules….

Bringing us up to date on where we stand with UK weddings, DT has created a brief timeline of events beneath. Prior to explaining exactly where we are here and now.

January 1st to March 23rd – Weddings ostensibly ‘as was’. Winter ones, anyway. Traditional and omnipresent in nature, setting and numbers

March 23rd – Weddings – and civil partnership ceremonies – were banned as the country was put under strict nationwide lockdown. Affecting some 73,600 weddings, according to stats from our friends at the BBC

4th July – Wedding ceremonies permitted again; up to 30 guests allowed. However, government advised against receptions

17th July – PM told brides and grooms that small receptions including maximum of 30 guests could take place as from 1st August. Yet left with no option other than to retract this revision a day before rule change legislation came into effect. Accompanied by an official statement which decreed;

“Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can continue to take place in line with Covid-secure guidelines”

PM Boris Johnson, September 2020

22nd September – Government announced new rules, restricting wedding guests planning on tying the knot in England to 15 guests. Essentially slashing the hitherto 30 upper limit

Apart from the Guest Numbers Rule, What Else Should We Be Mindful of If We Are Still Wanting to Go Ahead with Our 2020 Wedding Arrangements?

Further governmental advice revealed as part of the latest UK Covid wedding news, explains the importance of shorter wedding ceremonies. Along with reduced guest numbers. The less time spent in close proximity to others, the better right now. Even with the maximum guest list of 15 diktat, this should only be applied when – and where – venues can provide enough space to allow for acknowledged social distancing protocols.

In terms of these all-important digits, any employees working for the wedding venue on the day are NOT included in the head count.

Guests attending from different households – or those not sharing a recognised support bubble – should remain at last 1 metre apart at all times too. While the wearing of face coverings is imperative.

Updated Details of What Guests Can – And Cannot Do – At UK Weddings in 2020

With regards to eating and drinking – typically a core part of any wedding and reception – only food and drink considered essential to the ceremony will be allowed to pass the lips of those in attendance. These refreshments should only be served by staff, in line with guidance laid out by the government. Which itself mirrors those presently being followed by restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway service providers.

Expect musical aspects of the celebrations to be somewhat muted too. While singing and the playing of music is permissible, performances should not be as rousing as normal. So as to discourage shouting. In addition to this, dancing should, realistically, be avoided. Due to such close interaction potentially favouring transmission.

Wedding venues are reminded that a record of wedding visitors’ personal details and contact numbers should also be robustly maintained. In the event they need to be tracked and traced as per hospitality sector best practice, as we write.

And finally, weddings – and receptions – should not be staged in private homes or gardens. On account that such settings will rarely benefit from the same safety measures being imposed by recognised venues.

So, Are These Fresh Revisions Being Rolled Out Across the Board, and Tantamount to Blanket Coverage?

No.

As these newly-imposed stipulations primarily centre on where you live. Or to be more pertinent. Where you are hoping to get hitched during the remainder of this surreal year.

Of course, we can’t overlook one positive thing. That wedding ceremonies and sit-down receptions are still allowed across all four of the home nations. Yet there’s variations in the applied governance surrounding them, as cited below:

In England, groups numbering upwards of 6 people from different households can’t meet up, period. As we’ve been readily informed of late. That being said, Covid-secure weddings are afforded an exemption. Meaning 15 people can be in attendance. Contingents who will undoubtedly comprise of different households.

For those getting wed north of the border, Scotland‘s devolved government has confirmed that up to 20 people can attend a wedding ceremony. However, receptions must strictly adhere to the country’s latest rules on social gatherings.

In Northern Ireland, up to 30 wedding guests are permitted to attend outdoor ceremonies. Unless someone is terminally ill, in which case the numbers are limited at the discretion of the venue. Together with whatever individual risk assessments and subsequent policies are in place.

In Wales, receptions of up to 30 people are still allowed.

Understandably, all the above is subject to change. With very little notice, more than likely. When and where, DT couldn’t even begin to predict. The ‘why’ being the only obvious here. As cases of Coronavirus spreading in communities will inevitably alter the ever-changing wedding landscape once more during this totally unpredictable year.