Maximum Number Of Guests Permitted At Weddings To Increase From 50 To 100
The maximum number of guests permitted at weddings will increase from 50 to 100 on August 5, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.
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.
As reported by rte.ie, ministers decided to permit the maximum numbers of guests permitted at weddings to 100 from August 5 at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday July 27, despite some doubt being cast in recent days due to the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Decision Made "In Principle"
Coveney reportedly said that the decision was made at Cabinet "in principle" and that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will now look at the detail.
Coveney reportedly told RTÉ's News at One, "Minister Donnelly will now work to produce clarity around everything from indoor, outdoor, music or not, receptions numbers and so on, so that there's clarity before the 5th, and that will be in a regulation to ensure that it's law."
However, he reportedly said that "there is cause for optimism", given that the number of cases related to the Delta variant of COVID-19 is dropping in other countries such as Scotland, England and the Netherlands, and reportedly added, "We want to make sure that Delta doesn't have a nasty tail still in it. And that's why people need to be cautious but at the same time, there is I think cause for optimism."
Coveney reportedly also said that the religious aspect of baptisms can "go ahead" in August, but reportedly add, "We don't want to see post-baptism receptions, when lots of family members meet. We're trying to avoid that because we are still dealing with a very aggressive and unpredictable variant of COVID."
Coveney reportedly said that the government has made "an exception" for weddings, but that the government's message remains one of "caution".
Engaged Couples Welcome Decision
Engaged couples have welcomed the decision to increase the maximum number of guests permitted at weddings, with one Dublin woman reportedly describing it as a "win" after a year of a lot of "no's".
Brides-to-be dressed in white and carrying bouquets reportedly gathered outside government buildings on Tuesday July 27 to call for clarity about the number of guests that will be permitted at their impending weddings.
They joined wedding industry representatives to call for the maximum number of guests permitted at weddings to be increased from 50 to 100 from August, as had previously been planned.
The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) has welcomed the decision to increase the maximum number of guests permitted at weddings to 100.
IHF president Elaina Fitzgerald Kane stated, "This is very welcome news and will come as a huge relief to couples all across Ireland who are working to finalise their guest list, many of whom have now rescheduled their wedding plans several times. We look forward to ensuring they have a very memorable experience on their special day while complying with the extensive health and safety procedures that we have in place. Everyone involved has an important role to play in hosting weddings safely and enjoyably, including guests, venues, suppliers and wedding couples.
"We recognise the difficult balance the government has had to strike with public health our number one priority. It is our hope that there will be additional movement in due course in relation to closing time, dancing and music as well as a further easing of restrictions around wedding numbers from September onwards."
Meanwhile, as reported by rte.ie, Tara Fay of Wedding International Professionals Association said that while this may be a stopgap measure, they would like more recognition and guidance.
Fay reportedly said that they have created their own guidelines for the wedding sector, which they handed into Leinster House on Tuesday July 27, and reportedly also highlighted the industry's worth to the Irish economy, reportedly stating that it is valued at €2.3 billion, with nearly 21,000 weddings taking place in Ireland annually.
© 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.