NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Weddings in New York State are set to resume in March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
Shortly after announcing that indoor dining may resume in New York City with 25% capacity, the governor turned his attention to large gatherings.
“In New York we want to use testing as the key to reopening events,” Cuomo said.
The governor said the testing system was first used at the Buffalo Bills playoff game earlier this month and he noted that there has been “virtually no” cases as a result of the event.
“We’re going to extend it to the New York State’s safe marriage receptions,” Cuomo said.
Weddings in New York State may resume on March 15 with several precautions in place, including testing of all patrons attending the event. All guests must receive a negative result before being allowed into the venue.
Cuomo said venues also must operate at 50% capacity, or up to 150 people, whichever number is less. All events must also be approved by local health departments.
The governor said the state is expanding rapid testing capabilities throughout the state in order to move forward with the plan. New York is also developing an app, which can notify people of their results as soon as they are available.
“New York says, ‘I do,’” Cuomo said.
The governor said he did not want to “create any pressure” before suggesting that some people could tie their weddings to a Valentine’s Day dinner now.
“I don't want to create any pressure for anyone, especially undo pressure, but here's an idea that you may want to consider. Restaurants are opened on Valentine's Day, you could make a reservation now, or plan. Dinner on Valentine's Day, you propose on Valentine's Day, and then you can have the wedding ceremony March 15, up to 150 people. People will actually come to your wedding because you can tell them with the testing it will be safe,” Cuomo said. “Again, no pressure, but it’s just an idea.”
The governor then joked that the state should look into creating a “low-cost New York State engagement ring.”