COVID-19: Guidance on weddings and civil partnerships from Step 4

On 14 July 2021, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Cabinet Office, and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government issued new guidance for couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England, and venues hosting these events: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations: guidance from Step 4. Extracts from the summary of changes from 19 July are reproduced below. Until then, Step 3 restrictions remain in place until 19 July.

Summary of changes from 19 July

From 19 July, the rules for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies; and wedding receptions and civil partnership celebrations will change. At Step 4:

  1. There are no legal restrictions on the number of people that can attend a wedding, civil partnership, reception or celebration.
  2. Legal requirements for social distancing will no longer apply and you will not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.
  3. Face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting. However, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
  4. COVID-secure rules, including table service requirements and restrictions on singing and dancing, will no longer apply. However, there are steps everyone should continue to consider to reduce the risk of transmission, which are explained in this guidance. All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
  5. If someone has been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because they have tested positive for COVID-19, or they’re the close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must still self-isolate and not attend.


Most of the issues described above also arise in places of worship; a read-across of these provisions would be expected.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "COVID-19: Guidance on weddings and civil partnerships from Step 4" in Law & Religion UK, 14 July 2021,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *