Desperate couples began booking up wedding venues almost immediately after Boris Johnson announced plans to lift all Covid restrictions by midsummer, it has been claimed.

As soon as the PM finished Monday's big roadmap reveal - which included the intention of scrapping all measures by June 21 - wedding dates started being fixed up.

And now venues are fully booked until 2023, while one wedding planner claims packages were being hiked up by 15 per cent as calls came rolling in.

Under the current lockdown, which will start to be lifted in stages from March 8, wedding ceremonies can only go ahead under exceptional circumstances, and receptions are banned completely.

Mr Johnson has stressed roadmap dates are strictly provisional and are completely reliant on data.

Bride, groom and wedding guests making a toast
Brides and grooms planning to get married during the pandemic have repeatedly changed their plans

Soho-based wedding planner Rebecca Brennan Brown said the second the briefing concluded "my phone started ringing non-stop".

She told the BBC: "Many venues in London are completely booked out until 2023 and those that aren't yet have hiked up their wedding packages by about 15 per cent.

"I think I'm still processing what was said because I wasn't expecting there to be no restrictions in June - that feels very quick for me personally.

"My diary now is completely packed for the rest of this week with consultations."

Rebecca admitted the last year had been a "constant up and down" and she has struggled, particularly contending with London prices.

She also pointed out that even if a couple can manage to book their wedding and it goes ahead, international travel restrictions may mean many loved ones can't come.

From April 12, weddings can go forward with 15 attendees and then 30 from May 17, according to the roadmap, as it currently stands.

Mr Johnson said: "We will reopen everything up to and including nightclubs and enable large events such as theatre performances above the limits of step three - potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection."