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Permit weddings of 5 people (registrar/couple/2 witnesses) during COVID19

Submitted by Hannah Boulding on Sunday 12th April 2020

Published on Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Current status: Open

Open until: Thursday 3rd December 2020

Current Signatures: 24,196
(count is updated approximately hourly)

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

Ceremony ~ Children ~ Covid ~ Covid-19 ~ COVID19 ~ Lockdown ~ Marriage ~ Time

Petition Action

Permit weddings of 5 people (registrar/couple/2 witnesses) during COVID19

Petition Details

Permit wedding ceremonies to go ahead with 5 people during the COVID 19 lockdown to allow couples to become legally married.

The people at the ceremony would be the registrar, the couple and two witnesses. The ceremony can be kept as short as possible.

Additional Information

While wedding parties are understandably postponed for social distancing reasons, being able to get legally married is important to a lot of people.

Marriage provides legal rights for inheritance, children, next of kin medical decisions and housing. During these uncertain times, allowing couples the opportunity to provide these rights to each other will help them during this stressful time.


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Thursday 2nd July 2020

The Government understands the huge significance of weddings to couples planning to get married. From 4 July, wedding ceremonies and civil partnership ceremonies will be able to take place in England.

The Government published its COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, ‘Our Plan to Rebuild’ on 11 May. This is available on GOV.UK at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy.

Since this ‘roadmap’ was published on 11 May, we have released lockdown measures cautiously, step by step. Our progress has been made possible by the sacrifices of the British public that have brought the virus under control.

The Government recognises the frustration couples planning their weddings must be feeling. The roadmap set out that the Government was committed to exploring how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small wedding ceremonies. Previously, marriages and civil partnerships under the special procedure for those who are seriously ill and not expected to recover were taking place in some cases where it was deemed safe to do so in line with previous PHE guidance.

We have worked closely with faith leaders and local government on how best to achieve this. On 23 June, the Prime Minister announced changes to the restrictions which will apply from Saturday 4 July:

Wedding ceremonies will now be able to take place, but should be attended by no more than 30 people.

Ceremonies will be allowed at any venue at which a legally binding marriage ceremony or civil partnership formation can take place.

For the purposes of a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, the number of attendees should ideally be kept to a minimum as far as possible, to only those individuals who are legally required to be present. These will usually be the couple, two witnesses, and the officiants appropriate to the type of ceremony.

However, as the Prime Minister announced, a maximum of 30 people will be permitted where this can safely be accommodated.

Wedding venues need to ensure they can comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, and that attendees will be able to socially distance from those they do not live with.

Further guidance can be found on GOV.UK.

Cabinet Office

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