Govt pushed on extending number of people at weddings but not budging

Sep 7, 2020 by

By Cara Bentley, Premier:

The Government has refused to budge on extending the number of people allowed at weddings, despite questions from multiple MPs and a former Conservative minister.

Wedding ceremonies are currently only allowed 30 people, in line with rules about other public gatherings, despite churches being allowed to have as many people as they want as long as social distancing is maintained. There are petitions to bring wedding capacity in line with church service capacity as many churches are holding more than 30 people in the same building on a Sunday.

The Government has been asked about it more than once this week.

Conservative MP Edward Timpson and Labour MP Dan Jarvis, asked almost identical questions, with Jarvis asking the business secretary to publish a timescale for when it was hoped the numbers for weddings would increase.

Paul Scully, parliamentary under-secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, replied on Thursday: “We are continuing to engage with representatives from the industry to explore how larger weddings and celebrations may be resumed in a COVID-19 secure way, once it is safe to do

“The limit of 30 people who can attend a wedding ceremony is consistent with broader policy on public gatherings – it is unlawful for private parties of over 30 to take place and we are advising that gatherings and events in COVID-19 secure venues should not exceed 30 people.”

Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow secretary of state for housing also asked this week: “what criteria he [Secretary of State for Housing] will use to decide when to increase the number of people permitted to attend a wedding ceremony; and when he plans to review the current guidance.”

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