Are weddings and funerals exempt from Covid measures? Expected rules on private events explained

If further Covid measures are introduced in England, this is how private personal events will be affected

These are the Covid rules concerning weddings and funerals (Credit: Shutterstock)These are the Covid rules concerning weddings and funerals (Credit: Shutterstock)
These are the Covid rules concerning weddings and funerals (Credit: Shutterstock)

Constantly changing Covid-19 measure and fluctuating restrictions has caused anxiety for families and hopeful couples as they attempt to plan important life events.

Although new restrictions in England have so far not affected personal private events such as weddings and funerals, Boris Johnson has warned the public that the government may be forced to introduce new restrictions if the Omicron situation continues to get worse.

But how will any new restrictions effect these sort of events in the future?

Will weddings and funeral be cancelled under new Covid rules?

As of 27 December, personal private events are not expected to be placed under Covid restrictions if the government decide to introduce new measures.

According to The Times, ministers are opposed to restrictions being placed on “significant life events” such as weddings, civil ceremonies and funerals.

The exemption to restrictions are expected to continue even if indoor mixing is limited in the future.

Indoor mixing is not currently limited in England, however the Prime Minister did state previously that the situation was being monitored and more restrictions would be introduced if data supported the move.

England has bucked the trend followed by the rest of the UK nations, with leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland announcing restrictions from Boxing Day onwards.

What are the rules for weddings and funerals in the rest of the UK?

Prior to Christmas Day, Scotland’s First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a handful of new Covid rules which would be implemented from Boxing Day.

This included the cancellation of large scale events such as the traditional Hogmanay street party in Edinburgh, and a limit on any indoor or outdoor crowds at public events.

However, Scottish couples were relieved to find that weddings were exempt from any new Covid rules.

Funerals were similarly exempt from restrictions.

Weddings and funerals were also exempt from restrictions in Wales, however there are more rules needed to allow these sorts of event to go ahead.

The number of attendees at a wedding or funeral in Wales must be managed and proved by the venue, with a risk assessment handed to the local authority to verify these numbers.

Although there is no specific limit on gatherings at private events, social distancing is required in Wales, meaning that the maximum amount of people permitted depends on the size of the venue.

There are no limits on attendees at funerals in Wales.

Northern Ireland last week announced that nightclubs would be shut and dancing would not be permitted in hospitality venues from 6am on Boxing Day.

However, weddings and civil partnerships will be exempt from this rule, with the ‘rule of six’ also not applying.

Funerals in Northern Ireland are permitted to take place in places of worship, funeral homes, City of Belfast Crematorium or a burial ground, with the number of people allowed to attend to be determined by the venue’s risk assessment.

A maximum of 30 people are able to attend a funeral held in an indoor private dwelling in Northern Ireland under new rules. There is no limit on outdoor funerals in private dwellings.

Will new restrictions be introduced in England?

The Prime Minister reviewed Omicron data from Christmas Day and Boxing Day on 27 December, after a backlog of unpublished data over the festive period.

After being briefed on the data, the Prime Minister did not make any further changes to the restrictions in England.

Any new restrictions are expected to be announced no earlier than 28 December, with the rules being implement no earlier than 29 December.

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