Summary of The Prime Minister’s Announcement and APPG

13 Jul 2021

Yesterday, we were happy to hear that the plan to remove restrictions and open up the economy will go ahead as of 19th July. This means that weddings can go ahead without mandatory restrictions on social distancing, face masks, no dancing, and table service. However, there are still some issues that the industry which was covered by the APPG yesterday: 

Track and Trace

Track and trace resulting in the isolation of staff members have been really big issues for venues. This is heightened by a lack of staff in the first place due to recruitment problems within the industry. Paul Scully MP clarified that if you are pinged by the app, isolation is only advised, however, if contacted by email the person will be required to isolate.

The new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has hit the ground running with hopes that by 16th August there will be a new approach to track and trace which will be less problematic for the industry. Siobhan Bailie has highlighted that this may be too late for a lot of couples who are due to get married in the busy season and has asked ministers to look again and see if there will be any workaround in the meantime.

For now, the best way to tackle this issue is to have an A and B team so that if the A team is forced to isolate, the B team is on hand. We know that this is problematic for many of you and we will keep you updated as and when the situation changes.

Research

Penny Mordaunt is pushing for the collection of data backing weddings in case the industry needs it in the case of further restrictions. With Siobhan Bailie emphasising that we can’t have the industry penalised because of a lack of understanding in government. They have not yet had access to the research from sporting matches or other events.

Penny is creating a matrix on what businesses, councils, and government can do to protect weddings if we go back into restrictions and lockdown. The matrix will consist of guidance on what you can do to keep your business safe.

Finance

Getting access to ARG has been difficult for many businesses and there has been a large disparity between councils. The Government messaging has been that the ARG is there for councils to spend and they have to spend it to get the next amount due. The APPG has written to councils explaining that this money should be used for wedding businesses. However, this letter has not been effective everywhere. If you are having trouble, the APPG recommends you write to your MP using this template letter. 

GRO 

The industry is still facing some issues with ceremonies and registrars with a disparity across different registrars. The APPG wrote a letter to the GRO, which you can refer to if you are experiencing problems. The registrars themselves are having trouble with the GRO, so Siobhan pleads we are respectful with the registrars.

The Government guidance for July 19th is due to be released today. We will post the guidance and breakdown to it into The Collective when it is released. 


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