They want Covid tests for guests so that large weddings can safely return on May 17th

Author: Adam SmithPublished 8 hours ago
Last updated 8 hours ago

Businesses and wedding venues in Staffordshire and Cheshire are calling on the government to consider using COVID-19 testing to get bigger numbers back on people’s big days.

On Monday, the government announced that it would remove the 30-person limit for mourners on May 17 in an effort to change the proposed roadmap.

That’s as long as the number of people on the services can safely fit into the socially distant venue.

The planned limit of 30 guests for weddings remains in place.

Beverley Wedgewood is the director of the Alcumlow Wedding Barn in Astbury Cheshirewhich has a maximum event capacity of more than 170.

She said: “It would make a huge difference to the wedding industry if we could actually move forward on May 17th and have an unlimited number of people, but that’s not until June 21st.”

When asked if there was a question for the government to ask on the matter, Beverly said it would be if they consented to COVID testing 24 hours before the wedding so they could – and the industry feel normal again to return.

“The focus would then be on the wedding guests again – and not just the venue,” she said.

“If we could do a COVID test beforehand, it would protect not only the people on the ground but our employees as well. And I think it would be a very sensible thing to do for the foreseeable future, until things reduce drastically and everyone is fully vaccinated.

“If we could go that route, it would mean that guests and people would not have to wear a mask at the wedding. And if you spend that much on photos, it would be such a big keepsake for people during COVID just being mask-free.

Beverly said the repeated delays and uncertainties had put repeated pressure on couples planning what their special day should be – and the announcement that there would be no limit to the number of people attending funerals caused more frustration. Couples now just long for a normal day.

“Many have chosen to just get married and have the ceremony and postpone the reception to a much later time so they can actually have the wedding they dreamed of, but that means splitting the wedding day in half The bump effect means that their lives are being put on hold.

Beverly added that the COVID testing would bring big weddings back safely and sooner for all guests – but would also bring the industry back.

“If they said from May 17th, it would also mean the wedding venue and other vendors could come in because right now, for just 30 people, it’s obviously not worth spending the cost of evening entertainment and everything else you would do usually accommodate at a wedding.

The What About Weddings campaign group, founded by companies in the industry, has called the changes “discrimination”.

It’s said it has always advocated that capacity be based on venue size and social distancing, as will be the case with funerals starting May 17.

It’s also furious that weddings were not included in the events research program, which saw many people in attendance this weekend at a sporting event, an outdoor performance, and a club night trying to figure out how to safely return events after June 21st.

A government spokesman said:

“We are working with the wedding sector to help them get back to normal as quickly as possible and understand the need for security in planning the summer season.

“We will continue to review guidelines and restrictions. As stated in the roadmap, in Step 3 the government will increase the limits for weddings and wedding receptions to 30 people. “

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