British public support cautious approach to weddings

Jemma ConnerPolitical Research Executive
June 24, 2021, 2:11 PM UTC

The Government recently announced that the final phase of the roadmap has been pushed back by four weeks, but they did change some of the rules around weddings for the period between 21 June and 19 July. The 30-guest limit has been lifted, but other rules around social distancing, dancing and table service remain in place. New YouGov polling finds that the British public are generally supportive of the cautious approach.

Despite general hesitancy for loosening restrictions, 61% of the public support lifting the limit of 30 attendees. Perhaps unsurprisingly, three quarters (74%) of those who are attending a wedding in the next month support the measure, compared to 60% of people who will not be affected by the rule change.

There is particularly strong support for maintaining social distancing at weddings, however, with 69% backing this rule. This is also the only measure where support is consistent regardless of whether people are set to attend a wedding soon (68% amongst people who are vs 69% amongst those who are not).

The measure with the weakest support is the ban on indoor dancefloors, although even here, 50% of Britons support the measure. Amongst people who said that they will be attending a wedding or civil ceremony or getting married themselves, support drops to 39%, with the majority (56%) opposing the ban.

Public split on whether to extend the furlough scheme

Despite the delay to the roadmap, the government has stated that the furlough scheme will be phased out from 1 July as planned. Through the pandemic, furloughed workers have had 80% of their wage paid by the government – this will now be rolled back in stages, with the government covering 70% of wages in July, 60% in August and 50% in September, before the scheme ends completely on 30 September. As it stands, the scheme has cost the government £64 billion.

When asked what should happen with the furlough scheme, the British public are divided –28% think the government should go ahead with the phasing out, while another 35% think the current scheme should be extended to 19 July. There is significantly less appetite for extending the scheme any further than this, with just 13% saying the scheme should be extended for a further three months or longer.

Continued confidence in the vaccine rollout

As part of the roadmap announcement, the government also revised its vaccination target, bringing forward its goal of giving all adults their first dose of the vaccination in line with the new 'Freedom Day'. Seven in ten Britons (71%) are confident that the government can hit this target, although there may be some concern that the largest remaining group to receive their first vaccinations – 18-24 year olds – are the least confident that this goal will be met (55%).

See full results here