Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

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.

More details

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 responded

This response was given on 2 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.

Read the response in full

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

At 100,000 signatures...

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

Other parliamentary business

E-petition session on easing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions

On Wednesday 15 July, the Petitions Committee will hold its first ever hybrid ‘e-petitions session’ in response to petitions relating to the easing of Coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including this one.

MPs will discuss the Government’s approach to easing the lockdown, in light of petitions about easing Covid-19 restrictions on certain sectors, businesses and activities which have gained over 287,000 signatures. Chloe Smith MP, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, will respond for the Government.

This session has been scheduled because sittings in Westminster Hall (where e-petitions are normally debated) are still suspended as part of Parliament’s arrangements for adapting to the Coronavirus outbreak, and because the Government has not provided more time for debates on e-petitions in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.

In this session, MPs will be able to take part in person or remotely via video link. This will be the first time that MPs will discuss e-petitions in this new hybrid format. Petitions sessions and debates are an opportunity for MPs to discuss the important issues raised by petitions, however they cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition.

Watch live from 2.30pm on Wednesday 15 July: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M23xrNJMaM8

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