After thousands of wedding receptions in New York had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for some brides and grooms.
Those receptions in New York can resume in New York beginning in March, with specific restrictions in place, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
As of March 15, receptions can resume, though venues will have to limit guests to 50 percent of their capacity, or a maximum of 150 people.
All those gatherings must be approved by local health departments and all guests and patrons must be tested before attending the event.
The announcement comes following the successful pilot program during the Buffalo Bills NFL playoff run, where thousands of fans were permitted into the stands after being tested and maintaining social distance.
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Cuomo said that as the state continues developing and increasing its rapid COVID-19 testing capacity, more events and venues could be permitted to proceed amid the pandemic moving forward.
“We’re developing guidance for events where you can do testing, and then local health departments can monitor (afterward),” he said during a COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Jan. 29. “In New York, we want to use testing as the key to reopening events.”
During the briefing, Cuomo also announced that indoor dining in New York City will be reopening at 25 percent capacity beginning on Valentine’s Day, leading him to muse that the two could be conveniently merged.
“New York says I do. But no pressure … I don’t want to create any personal pressure, that’s not the government’s role,” Cuomo said with a laugh. “But you can plan dinner on Valentine’s Day … propose, and then have the wedding ceremony on March 15.”
Cuomo added that many people haven’t been gathering or congregating much not because of the government’s orders, but because of fears of contracting or spreading the virus.
“People will come to your wedding, with testing, and they know they’ll be safe,” he said. “A lot of these venues, I don’t believe people aren’t going because of government restrictions.
"If I said that movie theaters can open 100 percent tomorrow, I don’t believe people would go,” Cuomo added. “People have to be confident it’s safe, and in this case, you can say everyone at this reception is going to be safe.”
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