It’s every girl's dream to wear a long white dress and walk down an aisle filled with white and red roses. And waiting at the altar is the man of her dreams, patiently but eagerly waiting for her arrival. All the guests’ eyes are adoring how pretty and how delicate she looks in that flowing white, veil. But here’s the catch, only limited people are allowed to attend. And the bride and groom, along with all the attendees, must wear masks. No one is allowed to hug each other and such. Why? Because of restrictions. The enemy: Covid-19.
In Australia, certain guidelines were created to make sure the rules when it comes to combating coronavirus are followed. According to the latest poll, there are 7,155 confirmed cases of the said virus up to date, in which 103 succumbed to their death. Since the 13th of March, when AU was first locked down, Scott Morrison and Australia’s chief ministers restricted mass gatherings and are not allowed to take place anymore without making sure certain guidelines are adhered to. Such occasions such as weddings and others that usually entails people coming together, are ordered to be controlled for the government to ensure that the curb will not be heightened.
Limitations are not only particular to the number of people allowed or not allowed in a gathering, there are also rules that must be followed. However, the restrictions are now slowly being eased starting this Monday. June 1st. The decline in the everyday addition to the casualties and the infected was considered and according to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzar, the mass gatherings restrictions may ease up a bit but there are still many rules and guidelines to be followed.
Below are the restrictions that are being imposed when it comes to weddings and how they will affect the outcome of the said occasion.
Starting June 1, 2020, not more than 20 people can now attend a wedding ceremony. According to Premier Gladys Berejiklian “We know how important these services are to the individuals and families, but as we ease the restrictions further, we should remember to keep one another safe.”
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant specified that people must still follow the instructions and the different protocols such as the following:
- Marks must be worn by all throughout the ceremony. Even the Groom and the Bride must both wear protective masks and must not take them off for any reasons whatsoever. This is the number one rule because this simple step can prevent the virus from being passed on to others if you already, and unknowingly, have it and also for people to not pass the virus to you if they are infected. All over the world, this practice is being imposed on all as this will help flatten the curb.
- No more than 20 guests are present, which already includes the 2 witnesses. Unlike before where even the neighbors and your long lost relatives are invited, for the new normal, the number of guests are strictly limited to prevent overcrowding and people standing or sitting too close to each other.
- Social distancing must be followed all the time meaning at least a meter and half of distance must be created between each guest. Proper seating arrangements must be planned ahead as to maintain the distancing and avoid overcrowding. When standing, the same distance must also be followed. Standing in lines must also follow the same distance and guests can’t be seen huddling with each other even when they want to.
- Weddings can be done indoors or outdoors. But still the number of attendees must be within the allowed number both inside and outside. Social distancing must still be strictly followed even when the guests are outside the venue.
- Handshaking, hugging, or even kissing is not allowed at all times. Even the “You may kiss the Bride” part is not allowed in the new normal. The corona virus can be spread to other people using saliva and other bodily fluids so thus the restriction. People may opt to do a nod as a form of greeting. In some cases, people use their elbows to handshake and it is fine as long as you are wearing appropriate clothing and will sanitize after the said contact.
- No group pictures are allowed. This will call for people to closely move closer to each other for all to fit in the photo and this is against the social distancing rule. They can opt to selfies along with the newly weds but they must make sure to still keep their distance.
- Pens used for signing must be sanitized regularly. Also the guests must wash hands, use alcohol or both as often as they can to make sure all the surfaces they touch and the people they are in contact with will not be in danger or they themselves are being exposed to the virus.
The “New Normal” may be a bit hard to follow at times specially since we all are not used to it, but bear in mind the reasons why such guidelines and restrictions are being treated as obligations. We must all have a sense of responsibility to not spread the virus if we have it or not to contract it and be the source of the spread. The restrictions are there for a reason, and that is for us to enjoy life more instead of feeling scared and unsure about our surroundings. Families and friends can still gather and appreciate this wonderful occasion even with the said regulations, given that we all must understand the government is not doing this to make life harder, but for all of us to be safer. This may sound cliche but prevention is always better than cure. For for every rule we follow, millions and millions are being spared from the virus. And we all have responsibility to our fellow humans in safe-keeping each other’s health in these trying times.