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20 March 2020, 17:21
Weddings may still be staged, but right now you'll only be allowed a few guests to attend, The Church Of England has stated.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, couples have been told to reschedule or even cancel their weddings in order to stop the spread of the virus.
With the number of cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise across Britain, The Church Of England has now announced some rule changes to weddings in order to keep people safe.
It has been announced that weddings can continue to go ahead, but there can only be five guests in attendance in total, which is the legal requirement.
If a couple want their wedding to go ahead during the coronavirus outbreak, they will only be allowed to have themselves, their partner, the priest and two guests.
The Church of England said: "While wedding services may continue, numbers attending the ceremony in church will need to be strictly curtailed to the legal minimum.
We have issued guidance on weddings and baptisms during the current period of restrictions on public gatherings.— The Church of England (@churchofengland) March 19, 2020
Read more: https://t.co/P2hl8zVe89
"Where family relatives or friends are unable to attend given the restrictions on numbering, churches will be happy to explore ways to allow others to join the service, either through platforms such as Skype, or recording the service to send at a later date to anyone unable to attend.
"Apart from the bride and groom, the physical distance should be observed as far as possible. The priest does not have to touch the rings to bless them, nor does he or she have to touch the couple’s hands as part of a prayer or blessing, so it is possible for the service to proceed as normal.
"No additional church personnel will attend the service, for example organists, vergers or sound system operator etc. ‘If a couple wishes to cancel their wedding, then any fees or deposit paid to the church will be refunded in full, and if the couple wishes to postpone, the church will work with them to find a suitable future date wherever possible."
The announcement had a mixed reaction from the public.
One person said: "To say weddings can take place, but only with five people is impractical, unless for pastoral reasons. Who realistically wants to get married under those restrictions. Also, by doing this, you make it impossible for couples to claim off their insurance for such as the reception."
Another added: "Just delay it unless you need to get married for tax reasons. Do the paperwork now and have a party later when it's safe."