It has been reported that the Government will not impose any attendance limit on weddings and funerals if a series of new restrictions is brought in. The reason for this is that it ministers believe attendance caps on these events during the previous three lockdowns caused unnecessary distress to those involved.
The exemptions for life events are part of all scenarios that have been drawn up by the Government to deal with the threat of Omicron.
It comes ahead of crunch talks between Boris Johnson and Government scientists today to discuss Covid restrictions for the New Year.
Downing Streetis understood to be leaning towards new guidance urging people in England to be careful and limit contacts – rather than imposing new legally binding restrictions.
But this could change if data on hospitalisations suggests the NHS could be overwhelmed by a wave of Covid infections.
Possible restrictions considered by the Prime Minister over the past few days include closing pubs and restaurants indoors, bringing back the rule of six or restricting the number of households meeting indoors, and limiting capacity at mass events.
But ministers are said to be against disrupting significant life events with the restrictions, even if they opt to bring back the rule of six in indoor settings, the Times reported.
Among the proposals are plans to prevent hospitals forcing women to attend scans and check ups – as well as give birth – without their partners.
And ministers are “increasingly optimistic but very cautiously optimistic” they will avoid re-imposing draconian lockdown rules in England before the new year.
“It’s not just that there’s a clear gap between cases and hospitalisations, but also that when people are going into hospital they tend to be there for less time,” a Government source told the Times.