Coronavirus : Why Wedding Guests were Arrested in Isreal


Coronavirus : Why Wedding Guests were Arrested in Isreal 


JERUSALEM — "Love in the time of coronavirus," is already becoming cliched but for some eager couples in Israel their desire to tie the knot despite the rapidly spreading virus and increasingly tight restrictions on social interaction, has meant getting creative — and clandestine.

On Saturday, Israel ordered all places of entertainment closed and banned gatherings of more than 10 people. Since then, videos have surfaced online of undeterred couples holding their weddings isolated on roof tops, in parks and outside courtyards as well-wishers watch from afar.

One extra-determined couple even walked down the aisle in a supermarket, the only public place where the cap on the number of people is a little more flexible.
In the city of Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, the organizers of one wedding sent a notice to guests telling them the wedding was going ahead but urging them to keep quiet about the ceremony.

After images of the wedding showing more than 100 people dancing in close contact went viral, police said Wednesday they had arrested three people for endangering the public and violating the health orders.

On Tuesday, Israel tightened its restrictions, warning against all forms of public gatherings, after unseasonably warm weather on Monday had drawn housebound families out to parks, beaches and other outside leisure places. A few people decided to get married too.

“We have now published new guidelines aimed at stopping the spread of the virus,” said Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov in a short public service video. “These are not simple guidelines, we are asking you, as much as possible, to remain in your house. You should only go out to work, if you are permitted to go to work, and for emergencies, to buy food and medications.”

In a televised address on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the public again to be aware of the dangers and maintain distance from each other.
“Today I can say — love is keeping your distance. You love your dear ones? Maintain a distance from them. Maintain distance from family members as best you can,” he said.

Israel confirmed 427 cases of covid-19 disease caused by the virus on Wednesday. There have been no fatalities, though eight people are in serious condition.

The new guidelines announced over the weekend prompted many couples set to be married over the next few days or weeks to cancel their plans, but videos posted online showed some went ahead regardless — corona-style.
One video showed a couple marrying at a Jerusalem yeshiva with guests cheering and clapping from strategic positions on balconies overlooking the courtyard:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/corona-restrictions-force-israeli-couples-to-hold-creative--and-clandestine--weddings/2020/03/18/3c5a8916-6857-11ea-b199-3a9799c54512_story.html
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