The Rivers State Government has approved COVID-19 guidelines for marriages and weddings with N10million fine to be paid by violators.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim made this known after a meeting. The said guidelines were approved by the state Executive Council in a meeting presided over by the state Governor, Nyesom Wike. Prospective couples would be required to apply to the state governor through the Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation.
The commissioner said such application must be accompanied with key information. The venue of the ceremony, names, addresses and phones numbers of attendees is needed. This is to make contact tracing easy for the Government. Those seeking to bury their loved ones would also be expected to include names, addresses and phone numbers of those to attend such funerals in their applications.
Application would not grant approval without names, addresses and phone numbers. Nsirim said marriages would not have more than 50 attendees including family members. Attendees must wear face masks and adhere strictly to social distancing of not less than two meters.
According to him, while church weddings must be conducted between 9am and 12noon, traditional marriages would be conducted between 4pm and 7pm. The commissioner said venues of marriages must have provisions for running water and soap at three points. The venue must be decontaminated after the event.
“All Weddings/Marriages have an attendance limit of 50 people. The names, addresses and phone number of all attendees have mad available with the application to enable quick contact tracing if the need arises.
“Soap and running water has to be kept at the entrance to the venue in not less than three places while all attendees are to wear face masks and maintain social distancing of not less than two meters.
“Church weddings are to be conducted between 9am and 12noon, while traditional weddings are to be conducted between 4pm and 7pm. Reception ceremonies are not permitted.
“A representative of the Ministry would be present to observe the event. A fine of N10,000,000 is to be paid by anyone that puts people at risk by breaking this regulation”