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NY authorities stop wedding with up to 10,000 guests, citing coronavirus as reason

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File photo: A bride and groom are pictured surrounded by wedding guests.
File photo: A bride and groom are pictured surrounded by wedding guests.   -   Copyright  Image by ANURAG1112 from Pixabay
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Authorities in New York quashed plans for a wedding that could have seen over 10,000 people gather in violation of COVID-19 measures, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The Rockland County Sheriff's Office made authorities aware of the huge wedding, which was scheduled for Monday in Williamsburg.

"We were told it was going to take place. We investigated and found that it might be true. There was a big wedding planned that would have violated the rules on gatherings," Cuomo said at a press conference.

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.

"You can get married. You just can't get a thousand people at your wedding. You get the same results at the end of the day. It's also cheaper!" Cuomo said.

Local media reported the event was an Orthodox Jewish wedding.

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

It managed to bring the crisis under control through lockdowns, but in recent weeks the number of reported COVID-19 cases has risen.

Last week Cuomo ordered the closure of non-essential businesses in the worst-hit areas and limited the number of people who can be in places of worship to 10. Schools were also closed.

The governor said Saturday that these measures were already yielding results.