In a move that will be a boon to hotels, the Health Ministry yesterday capped wedding guests at 300 or 50% of the number that the venue can hold.
The latest missive from the Ministry said the number of guests would have to include the wedding party and other support staff including music bands or DJs. Social distancing should also be maintained at all times.
The Health Ministry has gradually eased restrictions on weddings, initially increasing guest numbers from a few dozen to 200 as COVID-19 numbers remained under control within the country. The latest measure is expected to allow weddings, which are usually large and elaborate affairs in Sri Lanka, to return to normal. July and August are also premium wedding months with hotels booked well in advance for the special occasions.
The hotel industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak and the Government last month said they will push back the opening date of the airport, which was earlier scheduled for 1 August, and with it the tourist arrivals that were eagerly awaited. The measures were taken over fears of a second wave as patient numbers have increased exponentially in recent days, especially in neighbour India, which is Sri Lanka’s largest source of tourists.