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Government ‘dragging its feet' over weddings and events

24 July 2020 by

MPs have accused the government of "dragging its feet" over the opening of events and weddings before October.

Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith in London, said there's "no reason why events and wedding receptions with social distancing measures in place" cannot open before October.

"The government is really missing the point," he said. "The whole thing about events, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and wedding receptions is they are organised and regulated, but yet they are more constrained at the moment than pubs and restaurants.

"Will the government, rather than talking about pilots and permitted venues that aren't defined in the guidance, look at a faster and fuller opening of the sector before October?"

Edward Timpson, conservative MP for Eddisbury in Cheshire, said: "The longer the limitations on numbers remain in place, the greater the damage for local businesses, both financially and reputationally."

He told parliament the Boutique Hotel Group in his constituency had lost £6m worth of revenue due to 220 weddings being cancelled between March and August, resulting in 25 staff redundancies.

"Should the status quo continue through September and October, which looks likely, another 124 [Boutique Hotel Group] weddings will go, as will a further £2.2m in revenue. The situation is getting beyond desperate."

The wedding industry has been hit by as much as £6.4bn due to the coronavirus pandemic, with 90% of weddings for July and August cancelled and a further 150,000 at risk this year, according to Labour figures.

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