Even weddings have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak in Italy with guest lists shortening and those in attendance forced to stand at a safe distance from one another.
The coronavirus is heavily affecting the normal unfolding of weddings in Italy’s capital Rome, a place where couples from all over the world come to get married.
“Everything changes, like for example my niece asked me: no kisses and hugs please” said Lucio Cassone, the uncle of a bride, after a wedding held in Rome on Saturday (March 7).
“We tried to reduce the guestlist a little bit. We avoided hugging and kissing, we try to stay at a reasonable distance from each other”, added the bride’s mother Nicoletta Bello.
Italy has been the European country hardest hit by coronavirus with the worst hit areas in the industrialised north. Draconian measures rushed through to try to fight the outbreak are taking a heavy toll on the economy, especially in the tourism sector.
Measures introduced this week warn citizens to avoid shaking hands or hugging, keep a safe distance of at least one metre from others and the quarantining of people who have been in contact with the disease.
Wedding tourism is a booming business in Italy and the number of wedding planners has risen to meet growing demand, especially from foreign couples in the summer months hailing from countries like the UK, the U.S., and Australia.
A survey conducted last year by the Tourist Centre Bureau in Florence said foreign marriages in Italy in 2018 led to 436,000 arrivals and over 1.5 million presences, both up on the previous year and slated to grow further. Employing more than 60,000 professionals, it generated revenues of around 500 million euros.
(Production: Carmelo Camilli, Alessandro Felici)