Citing Covid-19, NY thwarts wedding with up to 10,000 guests

Authorities in New York ordered the cancellation of a wedding that could have brought together more than 10,000 people in violation of rules to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The Rockland County sheriff’s office warned authorities about the wedding planned for Monday in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

“We received a suggestion that that was happening, did an investigation, found that it was likely that it was true. There was a large wedding planned that would violate the gathering rules,” Cuomo told a news conference.

News reports said it was an Orthodox Jewish wedding.

New York’s rules for stemming the spread of Covid-19 limit social gatherings to no more than 50 people. For religious events inside a church or temple, the limit is 33 percent of its capacity.

Elizabeth Garvey, an adviser to Cuomo, told reporters that “more than 10,000 people planned to attend” the wedding.

“You can get married. You just can’t get a thousand people at your wedding. You get the same results at the end of the day. It’s also cheaper!” Cuomo said.

New York was the epicenter of the US Covid-19 outbreak back in the spring, and the city has seen more than 23,800 related deaths.

The city managed to bring the crisis under control by having people stay home, but in recent weeks the proportion of Covid-19 tests coming back positive has gone up, especially in districts with large communities of Orthodox Jews.

Last week Cuomo ordered the closure of non-essential businesses in these districts and limited to 10 the number of people who can be in temples at the same time. Schools also closed.

Cuomo said Saturday the measures are showing good results. (AFP)