Weddings restrictions set to be eased despite June 21 lockdown lift being delayed, minister hints

BORIS Johnson is set to throw couples a lifeline by easing restrictions on the number of guests at weddings, a minister hinted today.

Health minister Ed Argar suggested the PM will increase the cap on attendance even as he slams the brakes on the rest of Freedom Day.

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He said Boris, who tied the knot with Carrie 16 days ago, is "very mindful" thousands of Brits have made plans and is desperate not to ruin them.

Mr Argar said ministers are aware the last year has been "hugely distressing" for loved up couples.

He added: "I’ve got constituents in this situation, as will all other MPs, who have had to postpone their wedding in some cases not once but twice, and of course the financial costs that can go with that. 

"I know that is something the PM will be very mindful of, he’ll be very sensitive to the situation that those individuals or couples find themselves in."

His remarks are the biggest hint yet that there will be a special exempting for weddings even as other parts of the unlocking are put on hold.

Ministers were last night thrashing out plans to let more than 30 guests attend so long as they stick to social distancing.

One said: “There is hope a deal can be done.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he'll back the plan to ease restrictions on wedding ceremonies.

Boris will offer up the deal as a glimmer of good news on a gloomy day for freedom-yearning Brits.

He will confirm England’s lockdown is extended to July 19, with an option of lifting it two weeks earlier.

It comes as the number of Indian/Delta strain cases continues to shoot up. However, the PM would not promise the month-long delay would be the last.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, echoed his words and said no guarantee could be given as “we are dealing with variants”. He told Times Radio that the country must not “yo-yo back in and out of measures”.

Conservative MPs and business chiefs hit out at the decision to extend lockdown. Rebel Steve Baker urged fellow Tories to oppose it.

Issuing a Great Escape-style appeal, he wrote: “It is the sworn duty of all officer to try to escape.”

UK Hospitality chief Kate Nicholls said a month’s delay would cost businesses £3billion and see 180,000 jobs lost.

She said if one was necessary to meet vaccination targets, it should be “full and final”.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr Andrew Hayward said a substantial third wave of cases was starting to crash over the UK. He said opening up would “fan the flames”, causing it to spread faster.


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