Weddings, wakes and face masks

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps and Other Provisions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/705 (“the Amendment”) were published on 15 June, approved in the Commons on 16 June (by 461 to 60), and are due to come into effect at 11.55 p.m. on 20 June 2021. These provisions are applicable in England and extend to England and Wales.

As announced on 14 June, they extend the move to Step 4 from 21 June to 18 July 2021, and make a number of amendments relating to weddings, funeral and the wearing of face masks. They remove most limits on the numbers who may attend a wedding or civil partnership, a reception for a wedding or civil partnership, or a commemorative event following a person’s death, and amend the power of disapplication of the Secretary of State in regulation 9.


Section 2 of the Amendment makes a number of changes to the Steps Regulations.

Expiry of “Steps Regulations”

The expiry date of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/364, (“the Steps Regulations”) is extended from 30 June 2021 to 18 July 2021. Other provisions are similarly extended in Section 4, infra. 

Weddings, receptions and commemorative events

Within the Steps Regulations, Exception 18: marriages and civil partnerships etc is changed to provide that there may be unlimited numbers present, unless the gathering takes place indoors in a private dwelling, when numbers are limited to no more than 30 people. Changes to Exception 19: wedding and civil partnership receptions provide that there is no limit to the numbers present, but the gathering may not take place indoors in a private dwelling. Similarly, changes to Exception 20: commemorative event following a person’s death provide that there is no limit to the numbers present, but the gathering may not take place indoors in a private dwelling. For each of the above exceptions, the organisers must take the “required precautions” which are defined in section 6 of the Steps Regulations, and for these events inter alia, has been in force since 29 March 2021.


Section 3 

This extends the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/592 from 20 June 2021 to 18 July 2021. In addition, in regulation 3(4), in the definition of “linked household”, for “regulation 7A of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020”, there is substituted “regulation 3 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021”.


Section 4: Extension of other instruments ,

(1) In regulation 19(1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, for “17th July 2021” substitute “18th July 2021”.

(2) In regulation 12(1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Local Authority Enforcement Powers and Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020, for “20th June 2021” substitute “18th July 2021”.


 

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Weddings, wakes and face masks" in Law & Religion UK, 15 June 2021, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2021/06/15/weddings-wakes-and-face-masks/

 

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