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Calls To Change 'Idiotic' Weddings Venue Rule

Jersey events companies are calling on the government to change rules that are leading to scores of cancelled weddings.

Currently, events with a marquee in a field or lawn area that is not attached to a house can have an unlimited number of attendees.

However if it is attached, then the garden is classed as being private and so no more than 20 can attend.

It remains an offence, under emergency Covid-19 laws, for gatherings in gardens to exceed 20 people.

Tony Sargeant, who runs Jersey Kitchen, says he received an email from a couple over the weekend who are having to massively alter their plans:

"They believed that they were allowed to have an unlimited amount of people. They were actually inviting 80 guests.

"It transpires that because it's in a private garden, only 20 people are allowed.

"If that marquee was to be put up in somewhere like Samares Manor or a heritage site, you could have an unlimited number and I don't understand why coronavirus would differentiate between one piece of grass and another."

The Jersey Event, Entertainment, and Nightclub Stakeholders Group say the decision has 'no logic at all and needs to be amended immediately before more events and weddings are cancelled'.

Government of Jersey and Senator Lyndon Farnham, you need to urgently reconsider your classification on venues for...

Posted by The Jersey Event, Entertainment & Nightclub Stakeholders Group on Monday, 26 April 2021

Mr Sargeant says events in both public area and private fields would be be controlled with the same risk assessments and track and trace procedures - and calls the rules 'total and utter madness' and 'utterly idiotic'.

"What bride and grooms are now having to do, they're faced with the heart-wrenching decision of having to uninvite guests and limit it to a maximum of 20.

"We have lots of weddings that have just decided to cancel altogether, we have had some weddings that decided to postpone until the future.

"This is not only my living and my livelihood at stake, but also bride and grooms are expecting to have a wedding and they're not allowed to do it.

"Ministers should be getting together and having a five minute conversation where they identify that a mistake has clearly been made and reverse that decision.

"It should be happening today."

The number permitted in private gardens is due to increase to 50 from 10 May if Covid-19 numbers remain stable.

Channel 103 has contacted the Government of Jersey for comment.

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