By Dominic McGrath, PA
The Government has said that from August 5th, 100 people will be able to attend both wedding ceremonies and receptions.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that the Cabinet this afternoon agreed in principle to the relaxation of restrictions on weddings as they need "special treatment".
He said that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will now work on putting the changes into law before next month. Currently, attendance at weddings is limited to 50 people.
Cabinet also agreed on Tuesday that baptism services may proceed, however, they must follow all protective measures and social gatherings afterwards should be avoided.
“We want to make an exception for weddings because we said we would and we want to follow through on that,” Mr Coveney told RTÉ Radio 1.
Brides, protesting outside Leinster House. Very Covid-19 pic.twitter.com/WkMbQBJ64Z
— Dominic McGrath (@McGrathDominic) July 27, 2021
“I think weddings are special and need special treatment and that’s what they’re getting.”
Earlier today, a group of brides staged a protest in Dublin city centre calling on the government to expand the number of guests at weddings to 100.
The protest saw brides make the short walk from the Department of Health to the Government Buildings, where industry figures called for greater engagement from the Government.
Vice-president of the Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA), Michelle McDermott, said that current restrictions have been damaging for couples and the industry.
“We appreciate that there are so many issues in the world and so many people are worse off. But a wedding day is one of every couple’s most memorable days,” she said.
“It is their day and they’ve dreamed about this day, particularly the brides, for so so so long.”
She also said that current restrictions had been damaging to the hospitality sector.
“The world thinks Ireland is closed and that Ireland is closed for wedding,” she said.