The Chamber of SMEs has released a statement on behalf of wedding operators calling for clarity on the date and conditions of the industry’s restart, questioning whether the 1st June date will also apply for the sector.

In the statement released on Monday, the SME Chamber said that both industry operators and couples getting married have been living through a wave of great uncertainty with continuous postponements and cancellations of weddings since the start of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced the resumption of weddings in June, with protocols in place, although a reopening timeline for events has yet to be announced.

This would likely mean that seated wedding celebrations may resume with restrictions on the number of attendees. However, wedding operators are seeking further clarity

It pointed out that the sector, which has been hit very hard by COVID-19, was closed earlier this year just as the 2021 wedding season was due to start.

This meant that all weddings booked for March, April and May could not be held. The industry group noted that these represent three of the most important months for the sector.

“This served a devastating blow to the sector,” said the SME Chamber, “which was already in an extremely vulnerable state following the impact COVID had on their 2020.”

It said that, “Apart from mass disruption, this sector had to invest further to comply with the restrictions and stay constantly updated and stocked for when weddings restart.”

“The SME Chamber is currently in active discussions with the authorities to mitigate the impact of the great damage this sector has suffered.”

“Looking forward, what is known so far in the public domain is that there is a potential that weddings might be allowed to take place as of 1st of June. This uncertainty has once again landed weddings into chaos, not having any parameters to base upon from 1st of June onwards.”

The SME Chamber stressed that the wedding sector needs to know which factors will determine whether or not weddings will be able to take place, adding that the experience health authorities have gained during 2020 should enable them to set out a clear plan of what will be acceptable and what is not, given the circumstances.

It noted that by 1st June Malta will be even closer to reaching herd immunity, a fact which should give greater reassurance to the health authorities that the situation can be planned for and managed.

“The health authorities are being asked clearly to disclose what is the determining factor they will base their green light or otherwise on,” said the SME Chamber.

“With just over a month away from 1st June, with so much planning that goes into a wedding, wedding suppliers and their couples cannot be left in this precarious situation.”

The SME Chamber closed the statement by reflecting on the importance of weddings for the healthy functioning of society.

“It should be noted that a wedding is not like any gathering,” it said.

“They represent among the most important of days for the couples and their close relatives and friends. Weddings are important milestones for our families and within our society.”

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