No kissing as Sri Lanka lifts ban on weddings

Straw newlyweds in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: Picture alliance/dpa/M/ Murat. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

COLOMBO, May 28, 2020, NST. Sri Lanka has lifted a ban on weddings, which was imposed in March to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, but newly-wed couples are forbidden from kissing, New Straits Times reported.

The Health Ministry said in a statement weddings could now be held in hotels and halls but the number of invitees must be restricted to a maximum of 100 people.

According to guidelines, invitees are not permitted to kiss, hug, or shake hands with the wedded couple. Grooms are also forbidden to kiss the bride in public.

Health Service deputy director-general (environmental health and food safety) Lakshman Gamlath said it was illegal to host events accommodating more than 100 people, even at venues that could accommodate larger crowds.

“People should keep in mind not to exceed the 40 per cent seating limit at any reception hall. They cannot, for any reason, invite more than 100 guests either.”

He said it was also compulsory for those attending the wedding to maintain a one-metre distance between them.

Xinhua News reports that Sri Lanka relaxed a curfew here and in the outskirts of Gampaha on Tuesday, after two months and following the easing of the Covid-19 spread, which has to date infected more than 1,100 people and caused 10 deaths.

Authorities said despite the curfew being relaxed, strict health guidelines needed to be followed, which included maintaining social distancing and wearing facial masks.

Anyone defying these rules would be arrested.

The government said the virus was now contained within one cluster, while no cases had been reported in quarantine centres and among the public in the past 21 days.

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