Wedding receptions for up to 30 guests will now be permitted in a further easing of England’s lockdown, after plans to allow celebrations were put on hold.
Boris Johnson announced that, from Saturday, newlyweds will be able to mark the occasion with friends and family at a small reception following the ceremony.
But this must only be in a location that adheres to Covid-19 guidelines, and should not take place in people’s homes or gardens, according to Government guidance.
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.