Simplified weddings encouraged in east China amid pandemic
Hao Yaqin, a newly-wed in east China's Anhui Province, was quite jittery about her wedding, which had been postponed for over a month due to the recent upward spiral in local COVID-19 outbreaks.
However, she breathed a sigh of relief after the municipal government of Hefei, the capital of Anhui Province, announced the latest adjustment to its disease prevention and control measures on Nov. 14: As the most important event for young couples, a wedding should be carried out as planned when it needs to be done. Weddings are not only happy moments for newlyweds but also for the whole city.
Without further ado, the young couple signed up for their wedding venue and reported to the local community administration.
Successfully, the two held their wedding ceremony on Nov. 27, with just a few adjustments in the guest numbers and health requirements to their former wedding plan.
The announcement was released by the city's COVID-19 prevention and control headquarters, since China introduced 20 new prevention and control measures on November 11, a move aimed at adapting to the new situation of COVID-19 containment and virus mutations, while minimizing the disturbance of COVID-19 on economic and social development.
The city's timely adjustments were greatly welcomed by its citizens, especially those planning to tie the knot recently. "I'm finally reassured to send out my wedding invitations," commented a netizen under the announcement.
Hefei now encourages weddings to be organized in a simplified manner, with guests numbered within 200. All guests are required to take necessary prevention measures when entering the wedding venues, including wearing facial masks, scanning venue codes, and showing their health codes, among others.
The attendees are also advised to promote the anti-food waste "Clean Your Plate" campaign during the ceremonies. Hotels should ensure ventilation and carry out regular disinfection in the venues.
In response to the call, Hao cut the number of her wedding attendees from 180 to 150, since "it was quite inconvenient for many of our friends and relatives who live in other cities to visit Hefei."
"It would be a good idea if we just celebrate with them afterward," Hao added.
The city's practice also helped boost the local reception and catering businesses. Many hotels have received reservations from couples awaiting weddings.
"Many people call via phone to inquire about specific requirements of holding weddings or other gathering events like annual meetings and return banquets, after the Nov. 14 announcement," said Liu Qing, manager of Fanglai International Hotel in the city, adding that so far, the hotel has scheduled more than 20 weddings this year.
Hotels that host such social gatherings are required to report to the local administration in their sub-district or community in advance. They also need to provide the necessary information, such as the number of attendees, planned disease prevention and control measures, as well as their contingency plans, according to Liu.