Shillong, June 16 (PTI): The Meghalaya government has decided to allow wedding ceremonies in religious places after a request by leaders of different organisations, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said.
All religious places and places of worship in the state are closed due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and will open only for conducting wedding ceremonies.
After a review meeting held on Monday, Tynsong told the media that the request has been made by leaders of different religious organisations.
"Based on their request, the government has decided to allow religious places to perform rituals as far as weddings are concerned," Tynsong said.
The deputy chief minister, however, maintained that all religious places or places of worship will continue to remain close for public till further orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
He said parties concerned will have to obtain permission from the respective deputy commissioners for holding of wedding ceremonies inside religious places.
"The government has also issued directions to all deputy commissioners for taking necessary action on Monday''s decision," he said.
Meghalaya is a Christian majority state and most of the weddings take place in churches. As churches are closed due the lockdown many weddings in the state were postponed.
Earlier, the health department has issued the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the conduct of weddings in churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship.
The SOP states that the number of guests at weddings or receptions should not exceed 50, guests should maintain social distancing norms, proper hygiene should be maintained and the place should be sanitised as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Tynsong said the meeting also discussed the reopening of hotels, home stays, restaurants and others.
He said the department concerned will hold consultation at the village level at the earliest.
"We are hopeful to soon get the feedback from all the DCs and thereafter, the government will take a final decision on this matter," the deputy CM added.