Daily US Times: As many weddings are cancelled under lockdown restrictions, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an order allowing online marriages.
From now on, people in New York will be able to apply for marriage licences remotely and clerks allowed to conduct ceremonies virtually.
The Governor jokes that the decision meant there was now “no excuse” for couples not to tie the knot.
In his Saturday briefing, Mr Cuomo said: “You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no?”
The decision comes after the US state extended lockdown measures until 15 May. It has become the worst-hit zine in the US, more than 13,000 people have died of coronavirus in New York City alone.
Social media reaction to the New York decision was mixed.
Some criticised the governor for not prioritising other decisions while some questioned why couples would choose to hold weddings when their families and friends are unable to join them.
But others pointed out that during a pandemic, marriage could offer practical benefits like allowing couples to share health insurance coverage.
How have engaged couples coped with lockdowns?
After the decision came from the Governor, some people turned to online celebrations to mark what would have been their special day.
But unless the weddings have been arranged in advance – and both their venues and officiants are still available despite lockdown – many of these ceremonies are not legally binding.
New York is not the first place to allow the internet to offer a legal solution.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently announced that people would be allowed to get married online. For that purpose, the justice ministry created a website. Couples have to submit required documents to the website, and a virtual ceremony, complete with a registrar and witnesses, can then take place.
The US state of Colorado also implemented similar measures, where couples are being allowed to apply for marriage licences online.
Meanwhile, one county in Ohio is allowing people to obtain marriage licences online in specific circumstances, such as when one of the partners is a health care worker, who has health insurance issues or suffers from a serious illness.
Meanwhile, Trump administration unveiled an 18-page reopen plan document, detailing three phases to reopen state economies, with each phase lasting, at minimum, 14 days.
Recommendations included in all three phases including good personal hygiene and employers developing policies to ensure social distancing, testing, and contact tracing.