You’re invited to a wedding, please bring a negative PCR test

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AMMAN — A recent government decision placing new restrictions on attending wedding parties and other gatherings, among which is to present a valid negative PCR test, was described by wedding venue owners as a “confused decision,” “and an indirect closure” of venues, and has already caused some wedding party cancelations.اضافة اعلان

Head of the wedding-venue owners union, Mamoun Al-Manaseer, said the government’s decision to request PCR tests from wedding invitees in addition to having received the two shots of the vaccine “is like indirectly forcing the venue owners to close, and reflects some confusion on the part of the authorities.”

He told Jordan News that since the reopening of sectors, numerous concerts and festivals were held across the country without checks and controls, which must have contributed to increased cases of infections, “however the government is blaming this on weddings,” adding that none of the venues have recorded any cases of infection due to the strict measures they followed, like distancing and facemasks.

Manaseer stressed that the decision issued on December 12 requires further clarifications and revision.  “We, as a union, have question marks, especially since one people are inside the halls, public safety measures are observed, including temperature checks, social distancing, and wearing masks.”

Another venue owner, Rajaei Abu Asbeh, said that due to several unreasonable decisions related to the pandemic, many venue owners were forced to sell their businesses, adding that whereas parties and other gatherings take place without restrictions, “it seems that the government blames only weddings for the spread of the virus.”  

Abu Asbeh wondered how it could be possible to compel people “to receive the two doses of the vaccine as well as to take a PCR test to be able to attend a wedding!”

Mohammad Al-Qaryouti, also a venue owner, said there have been cancelations following the government decision, noting that bookings have declined dramatically since the pandemic-related restrictions, “and, we don’t get compensated,” he added.

Manaseer believes that the decision will have adverse effects on the pandemic situation, as most customers who canceled their wedding reservations at “the halls” would hold their parties at home, or in vacation houses, or other venues, “away from the government's eyes, and not abiding by the safety and health instructions, leading us all to go back to square one.”

Manaseer plans to meet with the secretary-general of the Ministry of Health for Epidemiology Affairs, Adel Al-Balbisi, to discuss the decision and convey the potential harm it would be bring to this sector.  “25 celebrations were canceled within 48 hours,” he said.

Saif Osama, engaged to be married, has canceled reservations for his wedding party, which was scheduled for next week.  He said that as a result of this decision and cancelation of reservations, large sums of money were incurred.  He added that there are family members who cannot take the vaccine for health reasons, including his mother, and that most of the guests would not attend because of the expensive cost of the PCR test.

Alternatively, the future groom has decided to hold his wedding party at a vacation house, off Amman, assuring however, that everybody will be required to abide by the health measures. “The pandemic has become a part of our lives, and we have to cope with it.”

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