January 22, 2022

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Businesses linked to weddings urge Delhi health minister to allow attendance of 200 guests

Stakeholders in the wedding industry on Monday urged Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain to allow 200 guests at such events, which is currently capped at just 20, citing losses incurred by linked businesses due to Covid curbs. A memorandum submitted to the minister stated the industry is in dire straits as the recent restrictions imposed due to a surge in Covid cases have forced postponement or cancellations of weddings.

“Weddings are an essential social requirement of the society. Wedding planners, hotels, caterers, banquets, dance troupes, artists, are seeing 99 per cent weddings getting cancelled, migrated or postponed due to capping of guests ie 20 people,” it stated.

Urging the government to permit weddings with at least 200 guests in attendance or with 50 per cent capacity of the venue, the stakeholders said they will follow Covid-appropriate guidelines, including sanitising the venue twice and ensuring only double vaccinated people attend it.

“Please allow us to have weddings with a capacity of 200 Pax as our wedding venues are very large and can accommodate very large gatherings in a controlled and monitorable environment. Or allow us gatherings following the 4 sq ft/per person formula of social distancing,” read the memorandum.

Appreciating the way the Delhi government has “controlled (the situation) and at the same time given a breather to other sectors”, it claimed that no such provision has been made for the wedding industry.

The stakeholders urged Jain to review the guidelines while citing that a majority of the population is vaccinated and the current situation is “leading to unemployment and social unrest”.

“Unemployment is high with the industry being one of the largest employers of unskilled and semi-skilled labour such as service steward/waiters, bandwallas, mehndiwallas, vegetable and fruit vendors, sundry items suppliers, florists and their labourers, event staff, musicians, electricians, tailoring staff, catering staff, kitchen staff.

“All labourers who were called back after the second wave has again become unemployed,” they said.

Asserting that Covid has “become a part of life” a new strain or variant of the virus emerge every couple of months, the memorandum stated, “Shutting down sectors will not be the ideal solution to tackle this and when the economy will suffer then naturally the infrastructure to fight it will also weaken.”

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