Greater Manchester couples may be “factoring in” fines for breaching lockdown restrictions into wedding costs

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The Deputy Mayor in charging of policing has revealed that couples may be “factoring in” fines for breaching COVID-19 rules as a “wedding cost” in Greater Manchester.

Baroness Beverley Hughes said that weddings “increasingly feature” in the list of police call-outs to illegal gatherings across the region, which is rising by the week.

Weddings are currently limited to 15 guests in Greater Manchester.

“Weddings increasingly feature [amongst illegal gatherings] and I don’t know of people who had to put off their wedding in the spring now feel that they’ve got to get on with it,” said Baroness Hughes.

“But it feels as if the fines that people will get are now being factored in as a cost people will bear in order to go ahead with their weddings.”

She also said some funerals have become so large they have “required their own police operations”.

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Her comments come after Greater Manchester Police recorded its busiest period for lockdown breaches since the pandemic began last weekend, with a spokesperson for the constabulary stating that 85 fines were handed out between last Friday and Sunday.

Included in the 85 fines was a wedding reception in Heaton Moor, Stockport where around 60 people were in attendance and one fine was issued.

It was confirmed to have brought the total number of fines issued to 400.

Last month, Greater Manchester Police also issued fines after 100 people were found at a wedding party in Bolton, and also said it prevented a wedding party from going ahead in a garden in Wythenshawe, before it breached the local lockdown restrictions in place.

A venue that held a wedding reception with about 70 guests in attendance in Longsight last month was also closed and fined £10,000.

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