TRADITIONAL big white weddings will FINALLY make a return on June 21, Boris Johnson has announced.
But while the strict limit on guests will lift at long last, a ban on dancing will remain – and face masks have to stay on indoors.
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News that weddings won’t be limited to just 30 guests will likely come as a huge relief to couples who have had to postpone their nuptials during the lockdowns.
It comes as:
But it’s tough news for wedding DJs – as a spin around the dancefloor is still banned indoors, and advised against outdoors, with the exception of the bride and groom.
Singing will also be discouraged as it aids transmission of the virus.
It means bands are unlikely to be able to perform at a ceremony.
However, couples won’t have to face torturous decisions over which family members can attend, as rather than imposing tough limits, venues will be allowed to make their own decisions about how many people are on the invite list.
Weddings on private land, including in gardens, will also have caps lifted, with the Government trusting the newly-weds to make decisions on safety.
And health chiefs say masks should be worn indoors while moving around – while wedding buffets are out, with table service recommended instead.
There must also be no more than six guests at a table to keep the Rule of Six in place.
In May, a cap was lifted on the number of mourners allowed to attend a funeral after images of the Queen sitting alone at her husband’s service were seen by millions around the world.
But it’s taken another month for a decision to be reached on weddings.
Answering a question from a bride-to-be who has twice delayed her wedding, Mr Johnson tonight said he was “very, very sorry”.
“I’m sorry for all the disappointment that’s going to be caused by going a bit slower,” he said.
“What we are saying is that weddings can go ahead with more than 30 people. We are lifting that restriction on 30 people from June 21, providing social distancing is observed.
“I’m sorry for the disappointment this will certainly bring to weddings, to many, many businesses, but I think it’s a few weeks that’s worth it to get those jabs in.”
Engaged couples have been keeping their fingers crossed since health minister Ed Argar suggested this morning that big marriages would be back on.
MORE GUESTS – BUT NO DANCING
He said Boris, who tied the knot with Carrie 16 days ago, is “very mindful” thousands of Brits have made plans and is desperate not to ruin them.
And he said ministers are aware the last year has been “hugely distressing” for loved-up couples.
He added: “I’ve got constituents in this situation, as will all other MPs, who have had to postpone their wedding in some cases not once but twice, and of course the financial costs that can go with that.
“I know that is something the PM will be very mindful of, he’ll be very sensitive to the situation that those individuals or couples find themselves in.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he’ll back the plan to ease restrictions on wedding ceremonies.
Boris offered up the deal as a glimmer of good news on a gloomy day for freedom-yearning Brits.
He confirmed England’s lockdown is extended to July 19, with an option of lifting it two weeks earlier.
It comes as the number of Indian/Delta strain cases continues to shoot up.
However, the PM would not promise the month-long delay would be the last.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, echoed his words and said no guarantee could be given as “we are dealing with variants”.
He told Times Radio that the country must not “yo-yo back in and out of measures”.
Conservative MPs and business chiefs hit out at the decision to extend lockdown. Rebel Steve Baker urged fellow Tories to oppose it.
Issuing a Great Escape-style appeal, he wrote: “It is the sworn duty of all officer to try to escape.”
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UK Hospitality chief Kate Nicholls said a month’s delay would cost businesses £3billion and see 180,000 jobs lost.
She said if one was necessary to meet vaccination targets, it should be “full and final”.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr Andrew Hayward said a substantial third wave of cases was starting to crash over the UK. He said opening up would “fan the flames”, causing it to spread faster.