BORIS Johnson has today laid out new rules on weddings after the June 21 Freedom Day date was delayed.
Thousands of couples across the country have postponed their nuptials since government restrictions were brought in when the Covid pandemic hit last year.
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The government had hoped to lift all restrictions on weddings and other social events from June 21.
But concerns about the "worrying" spread of the Indian variant means Step 4 of the government's roadmap out of lockdown will be delayed by a month.
New rules have been put in place to cover weddings – and it's good news for couples who want to celebrate their happy day with more than 30 people.
Answering a question from a bride-to-be who has twice delayed her wedding, Mr Johnson, got married in a lockdown ceremony last month, 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."
GUEST LIMIT LIFTED
On May 17, the number of people allowed to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions was increased to 30 people from the previous limit of 15.
But despite pushing back the lifting of restrictions on June 21, the Prime Minister has lifted the limit on numbers allowed to attend weddings.
The new rules mean weddings taking place in a Covid-secure venue must take a risk assessment to assess the number of people who can be there, within social distancing guidelines.
For weddings on private land, including in gardens, a risk assessment must be made by the people putting on the wedding.
The new rules will bring weddings into line with funerals, which has curbs on numbers lifted on May 17.
CAN I DANCE AT A WEDDING?
Following Boris Johnson's announcement today, the current rules on dancing at weddings will remain in place.
Government guidance advises against dancing except for the couple's first dance.
Boogying has been advised against due to the risk of Covid transmission.
No dancefloor is allowed if the venue is indoors, although outdoors on private land it is not illegal, despite being advised against.
IS SINGING ALLOWED?
Choirs, bands, or musicians may perform in a group of up to six indoors, or up to 30 outdoors.
But communal singing is not allowed among guest at weddings.
That means no hymns of songs are allowed to be sung during the ceremony.
Venues must take steps to to cut any risk of Covid being spread through aerosol production from loud singing, particularly in confined and poorly ventilated spaces.
WILL SOCIAL DISTANCING BE IN PLACE?
Close contact with friends and family is a "personal choice" under Step 3 of the government's Covid lockdown roadmap.
People will be encouraged to "exercise caution", instead of staying two metres apart from anyone they don't live with.
Anyone attending a wedding should "always make space for other people to keep their distance if they want to", government guidance has stated.
There are no laws on guests from different households remaining two metres apart at weddings.
But people are urged to exercise "personal responsibility" to limit any risk of spreading Covid.
Guests don't need to be placed on socially distanced tables, but they should "consider the risks of doing so, as set out in new guidance on meeting friends and family".
There must also be no more than six guests at a table to keep the Rule of Six in place.
DO I NEED TO WEAR A MASK?
Anyone attending a wedding ceremony or reception must wear a face covering indoors, apart from when eating or drinking.
But the couple and whoever is officiating the service is exempt from the rule.
Staff working at a venue holding a reception also have to wear face coverings.
Guests could be fined £200 if they don't wear a mask without an exemption.
WHAT ABOUT SPEECHES?
Speeches should take place outside or in well ventilated-areas wherever possible, but if being held indoors, windows and doors should be opened as much as possible.
If the speech is in a marquee its sides should be removed or rolled up.
PA systems should be used wherever possible so anyone making a speech doesn't need to raise their voices.
Social distancing between the speaker and those listening should be maintained at all times. and people shouldn't raise their voices.
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