Cabinet To Discuss Permitting Up To 100 Guests At Weddings
The Cabinet will discuss a proposal today (Tuesday July 27) to increase the maximum number of guests permitted at weddings from 50 to 100.
As reported by rte.ie, the development follows a meeting of the three coalition party leaders on the evening of Monday July 26, as well as calls from hoteliers to make a clear announcement about wedding guest numbers early this week and a statement by president of the Irish Wedding Association Tara Fay on RTÉ's Morning Ireland radio programme last week that the wedding industry has not been given any update, and that it would be better if the government would say that "this is not happening", rather than leaving couples unable to make plans with certainty.
Anxiously Awaiting Word On Guest Numbers
Couples across Ireland are currently anxiously awaiting word on whether the maximum number of guests permitted at weddings can increase to 100 from August 5, as had previously been planned.
As reported by rte.ie, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar advised couples last week to assume that 50 guests will be the maximum number of guests that will be permitted at weddings for the time being, and it is not yet known if the government will extend the Digital COVID Cert system to allow increased numbers at weddings where all guests are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19.
Fay reportedly said after the above advice from Varadkar that are "hugely upset" to hear that the number of guests permitted at weddings is unlikely to increase to 100 from August 5.
A group of brides-to-be will reportedly march to government buildings today to present their health and safety guidelines to the government in a bid to allow their weddings go take this year with up to 100 guests.
IHF President Says Requiring COVID Certs For Weddings Guests Would Be Workable
President of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Elaina Fitzgerald Kane reportedly said that wedding venues can provide safe environments for social distancing.
Fitzgerald Kane reportedly said RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne radio programme hotelier that a requirement for Digital COVID Certificates for wedding guests "would not be any more difficult" than what has already been implemented for indoor hospitality services.
The IHF president reportedly said that the uncertainty around the issue of wedding guests numbers has caused great stress for couples, and, "I have couples who are on their sixth [wedding] date. This has added significantly to their anxiety and stress levels."
"Concern" For Unvaccianted Children Attending A Wedding
Member of the National GP Advisory team to the Health Service Executive (HSE) and UCD Associate Clinical Professor Doctor Ray Walley reportedly said on the same radio programme that he would have "concern" for unvaccinated children attending a wedding or availing of indoor hospitality services.
Walley reportedly said, "We all have a part to play in this. And obviously, the downside can be people can drink too much, and they can become disinhibited, and that is a concern."
Minister For Health Expects "Good News"
It is reportedly understood that the government is keen to bring clarity to the situation for couples that are currently planning weddings.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly reportedly said on his way into government buildings this morning, "I think it will be good news [after the number of guests permitted at weddings is discussed at Cabinet today]. It is a relatively small number of people.
"I can't pre-empt a Cabinet conversation, but we should have something positive to say in a few hours' time."
Donnelly reportedly would not confirm whether the maximum number at guests permitted at weddings will be increased from 50 to 100, and reportedly refused to be comment on whether an increase in the number of guests permitted at weddings would only include individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Donnelly reportedly said that no decision is ever black and white, and it is about applying judgement and considering the associated risks.
Taoiseach Gives Couples Further Hope
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micháel Martin reportedly said that the government had given an indication that the maximum number of guests permitted at weddings will be increased to 100 next month.
Martin reportedly said after the Cabinet makes one or two decisions are today, very little else will be done in relation to any further significant reopening for the next six weeks as the government has to "take stock", but it will be carefully monitoring COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalisations at all times.
Martin reportedly said that Ireland has already opened up "to a fair degree" in terms of "hospitality, retail, personal services, construction and so on", and in his view it has gone reasonably well.
However, the taoiseach warned of a need for vigilance because of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and appealed to people to be vigilant and sensible when it comes to their behaviour.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.