Statement on Weddings and COVID-19 Spread

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

There has been a storm of local social media discourse with regards to whether weddings are super spreader events. The Ottawa-Gatineau Wedding Industry Association (OGWIA) remains supportive of the Government of Ontario and Quebec restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. It is also eager to engage on planning a return to regular safe wedding celebrations.

As of January 23, 2021, the rate of COVID-19 infections finally seems to be trending downwards in Ontario and Quebec. This is welcome news after a long period of strict isolation restrictions. Weddings in the Ottawa-Gatineau area have been cancelled, or postponed, which has led to much distress for engaged couples as well as the OGWIA members.

The OGWIA is very supportive of the Ontario and Quebec government policies. The decreasing rates are evidence that the policies are working. The hope is that the trend will continue downwards sufficiently so that spring weddings can occur.

There is still caution that must be exercised. The emergence of a new variant that is more transmissible and potential more deadly is worrisome. In addition, un-restricted air travel can promote the spread of the variant. The OGWIA asks couples who are planning a destination wedding within the next few weeks to reconsider their plans.

The OGWIA is advocating for two programs that will help speed the return to celebrating weddings. Firstly, the immunization program must accelerate to ensure a large portion of the population receives the vaccine. Secondly, the access to inexpensive and widely available rapid tests will ensure a broad and frequent testing so that infections can be detected early.

With these two programs, a wedding event can check that their guests have either been immunized or have a negative test when they attend the celebration. These actions will severely decrease the risk of transmission at a wedding gathering. The OGWIA also suggests that couples evaluate whether elderly family and friends should attend their wedding because they have the highest mortality rate once infected.

The OGWIA will continue to monitor developments and provide opinion and advocacy to the three levels of government and how these will affect the wedding industry. Please provide any thoughts, opinions, and feelings to info@ogwia.com.

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