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The wedding was planned for Monday in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. File photo: EPA

Coronavirus: New York stops ‘wedding with 10,000 guests’

  • Orthodox Jewish wedding expected to draw a crowd of some 10,000 revellers
  • New York’s rules for stemming spread of Covid-19 limit gatherings to 50

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.

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.

Alarm over New York City coronavirus hotbeds

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 per cent of its capacity.

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


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“You can get married, you just can’t have [10,000] people at your wedding,” Cuomo said.


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

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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 claimed the state has succeeded in cooling off the hotspots in neighbourhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and upstate that had threatened to spread into wider outbreak.


“Literally we are going block by block and now we have the sophistication to do that,” Cuomo said. “It’s much smarter it’s more effective and it’s less disruptive.”

Additional reporting by Tribune News Service

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: new york authorities thwart plan for rule-breaking wedding with more than 10,000 guests