Boris 'set to relax wedding restrictions' despite Freedom Day delay

Boris Johnson ‘is set to relax wedding restrictions to allow more than 30 guests’ despite delay to Freedom Day as senior minister says couples waiting to marry are ‘very much’ in the newlywed Prime Minister’s mind

  • Edward Argar said couples waiting to wed are ‘very much’ in the mind of PM 
  • Reports suggest PM will loosen rules on weddings and remove 30-guest cap
  • Events restricted instead by the socially distanced capacity of the venue

Boris Johnson will scrap the wedding size limit tonight in order to help the beleaguered industry despite postponing the end of lockdown, a senior minister hinted today. 

Edward Argar said couples waiting to wed are ‘very much’ in the mind of Boris Johnson at the moment ahead of an announcement due this evening.

Reports suggest that the Prime Minister will loosen rules on weddings to bring them into line with funerals.

This means the 30-guest limit would go, with events restricted instead by the socially distanced capacity of the venue.  

It comes amid growing anger from the wedding industry that the limits remained in place while large crowds were allowed to gather for events like Euro 2020 football matches.  

Health Minister Mr Argar told Sky News: ‘There will be a lot of couples who planned, hoped, to do it, put a line through it, done it again and rescheduled again.

Not only does that cost money, but emotionally that is incredibly difficult for couples who want to have their special day and want to get married.

‘Again, I’m not going to pre-empt what the Prime Minister will say later, but I know that weddings and people in that particular situation will be very much in his mind at the moment, it’s one of the things he has been looking at.’

Edward Argar said couples waiting to wed are ‘very much’ in the mind of Boris Johnson at the moment ahead of an announcement due this evening.

The Prime Minister married Carrie Symonds in a Covid-restricted ceremony at Westminster cathedral last month.

Mr Johnson was accused of hypocrisy after images showed world leaders gathered together on the sands of Carbis Bay in Cornwall. 

The UK Weddings Taskforce, an industry group, estimates 50,000 nuptials planned in the four weeks from June 21 could be cancelled if restrictions remain in place. 

They calculated the industry would lose £325million for every week that weddings without restrictions fail to go ahead. Mark Dawson, of the Wedding Venue Support Group, said the 30-capacity figure was based on a hunch from scientists last year and had not been backed up with any hard data since.

He said: ‘Eighty people can sit inside a pub, but if you put a bride and groom in there, you can only have 30 in there, it doesn’t make sense and there’s no scientific evidence to back it up.’

Mr Johnson also attracted anger from the wedding industry over a G7 beach barbecue at the weekend. 

He was accused of hypocrisy after images showed world leaders gathered together on the sands of Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

No 10 denied the feast on Saturday breached current Covid rules – which allow 30 people to gather together outside.

Mr Argar, a health minister,  said the Prime Minister would address the issue of support for businesses should the June 21 easing be delayed when he sets out his plans tonight.

Asked if the furlough scheme would be extended, Mr Argar told Sky News: ‘I know that when he addresses his decision, sets out what he intends to do around the easing on the 21st, he will address those points as well.

‘I think he is very mindful of the need for businesses and others to get the support they need if they continue to be locked down or unable to open.

‘But I don’t want to pre-empt what he will say, but I know he is very sensitive to those factors.’

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