Wedding Task Force update - British Florist Association

Wedding Task Force update

Updated Monday 31st March

The BFA have been in all the meetings with ‘ The Wedding Task Force’ and ‘ What about weddings’ since last year. It has not been easy for the any of the working groups to get answers from government but this gives the latest information relating to weddings and events.

It has been another busy week for the Taskforce. We have been daily back and forth with officials on the incomplete Weddings Guidance, attended a meeting with BEIS to discuss them and hosted a roundtable with the industry’s championing MPs.  

Weddings Guidance 

On Monday the Wedding Ceremony Guidelines were updated to reflect the newly introduced ‘Steps’. The incomplete Wedding Reception Guidelines published mid-week without reference to Step 3 are expected to be released “imminently”.  

The intervention of the Taskforce has now achieved the re-opening of most wedding venues for indoor ceremonies from 29th March and we are grateful to Minister Scully and his department for their intervention. There are caveats in place for visitor attractions that individual premises should look into. We are discussing the confusion around venue showround dates again today with BEIS and have asked for urgent confirmation that they are allowed to resume from Step 2 at the latest. 

Other clarifications include: 

  • Receptions in Step 2: a sit-down meal can take place outdoors providing the venue is a Covid-secure location that is permitted to open
  • Receptions from Step 3 will be permitted indoors in a Covid-secure location that is permitted to open.
  • Guest numbers include children and babies 
  • From Step 4 weddings: “should be restriction free. This is dependent on the scientific advice and the results from the Government’s Events Research Programme”. The Taskforce is contributing to the ERP and we continue to apply pressure for larger wedding events to be piloted.  

MPs Roundtable & Meeting with Senior Cabinet Minister

On Wednesday Neil Parish MP facilitated another roundtable with the Taskforce and MPs that champion the wedding industry. Many of them continue to ask questions in the House, including this past week. With thanks to Yasmin Qureshi MP, Felicity Buchan MP, Rt Hon Paul Scully MP, Lucy Powell MP, Mary Robinson MP, Selaine Saxby MP, Paul Howell MP, Jane Hunt MP, Alison Thewliss MP, Tim Loughton MP, Neil Parish MP, Holly Mumby-Croft MP, Pauline Latham MP, Andrea Leadsom MP, Amanda Solloway MP, Jason

McCartney MP, Ian Paisley MP and Tim Loughton MP. 

Neil Parish has been attempting to facilitate a meeting with MPs and the Taskforce with a Senior Cabinet Minister. He was successful after the Taskforce roundtable in securing a meeting for a small group of MPs led by Edward Timpson MP.  We agreed speed was of the essence and a delay just for us to attend was unnecessary. The Taskforce, therefore, produced a paper for the meeting outlining some key enablers for the sector to remain viable and prosper.

Our BFA meeting this week with ‘ What about Weddings’ discussed large concerns over insurance for many in the sector and included updates with MP’s and ministers. If our discussions with both organisations, i.e the Task Force and What about Weddings require florists to write or sign petitions we will be more than happy to pass this on to you. We’ll keep you updated.

In other news:

For updated information on Grants for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland please CLICK HERE

Weddings in England in Step 2 (April 12th – May 17th) 

Updated 16th March

The Weddings Taskforce has been seeking clarity over inconsistencies and ambiguities between the roadmap announcements (and accompanying Government-produced graphics), the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ published 22nd February, and the ‘Re-opening businesses and venues in England’ published 24th February by the Cabinet Office.

We have now received confirmation that weddings and receptions are only permitted for 15 guests between 12th April and 16th May in: places of worship, public buildings, locations and outdoor settings that are already permitted to open. This does not include the vast majority of England’s licensed wedding venues where over 70% of weddings take place.

The Taskforce estimates this news affects circa 7,000 weddings planned before 17th May. We believe Government should honour the reasonable assumptions made by couples, venues, suppliers and their own Registrars (who have been booking weddings for couples in licensed wedding venues in the same period).  All weddings and receptions for up to 15 people should be permitted in COVID-secure wedding venues. Couples understand the limitations, and venues, by law, operate with strict safety protocols in place. A fact the Prime Minster overlooked in his Q&A on Sunday when attempting to explain the disparity between weddings and other events in Step 3 of the roadmap.

We have asked BEIS and Minister Scully to intervene and drawn their attention to the Government’s own contradictory information, which in the publication: ‘Re-opening businesses and venues in England’ implies weddings have an explicit exemption to the meeting indoors rules in Step 2 of the reopening plan. The Taskforce is meeting with the Minister and his department Wednesday afternoon. We will also seek an explanation as to why the updated Weddings Guidance remains unpublished more than three weeks after the roadmap announcements.

The Statement regarding Weddings in England in Step 2 (April 12th – May 17th)

The Weddings Taskforce has been seeking clarity over inconsistencies and ambiguities between the roadmap announcements (and accompanying Government produced graphics), the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ published 22nd February, and the ‘Re-opening businesses and venues in England ’published 24th February by the Cabinet Office.

We have now received confirmation that weddings and receptions are only permitted for 15 guests between 12th April and 16th May in: places of worship, public buildings, locations and outdoor settings that are already permitted to open. This does not include the vast majority of England’s licensed wedding venues where over 70% of weddings take place.
The Taskforce estimates this news affects circa 7,000 weddings planned before 17th May. We believe Government should honour the reasonable assumptions made by couples, venues, suppliers and their own Registrars(who have been booking weddings for couples in licensed wedding venues in the same period). All weddings and receptions for up to 15 people should be permitted in COVID-secure wedding venues. Couples understand the limitations, and venues, by law, operate with strict safety protocols in place. A fact the Prime Minster overlooked in his Q&A on Sunday when attempting to explain the disparity between weddings and
other events in Step 3 of the roadmap.
We have asked BEIS and Minister Scully to intervene and drawn their attention to the Government’s own contradictory information, which in the publication: ‘Reopening businesses and venues in England’ implies weddings have an explicit exemption to the meeting indoors rules in Step 2 of the reopening plan. The Taskforce is meeting with the Minister and his department Wednesday afternoon. We will also seek an explanation as to why the updated Weddings Guidance remains unpublished more than three weeks after the roadmap announcements.

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