Marriage: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he enable local registry offices to permit wedding ceremonies to be held outdoors in the grounds of approved premises if covid-19 social distancing regulations cannot be complied with inside the premises.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. This is an important and complex social policy reform and requires careful thought and consideration.

The Law Commission published its consultation paper on 3 September 2020 and the Government, following the final report, will decide on provision on the basis of the Law Commission’s recommendations.

In parallel, the Government made clear when it announced the Law Commission project that it would also, as an interim measure, undertake work to allow more civil weddings and civil partnerships to take place outdoors through secondary legislation. This work is ongoing.

The Government has published guidance on planning COVID-19 secure marriages and civil partnerships at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships.

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