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Sri Lanka eases Coronavirus austerity on wedding parties

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has relaxed guest limits on wedding parties allowing couples to have more lavish wedding and hotels to earn more money as the country continues to ease curbs imposed to control the spread of Coronavirus.

Under relaxed rules up to 300 persons could participate in a wedding ceremony, from an earlier 100, or half the hall was full, whichever was lower.

“This includes the bridal group, band members or any performing artists,” the Director General Health Services was quoted as saying by the state information office.

Weddings are an important revenue stream for Sri Lanka’s hotels and numerous ‘wedding halls’ that dot the country.

Earlier it was limited to 50 percent of the total seating up to a maximum of 100 right after the curfew was lifted for the day time.

Though hotels were getting weekend trippers they were empty during weekdays, industry officials said.

Weddings were bringing them some relief.

“The hotels are operating somewhat and most of them are depending on the banquet events,” Kandy Hoteliers Association President Samantha Ratnayake, who represents the Amaya chain told EconomyNext last week.

“There are 10 to 25 weddings happening in hotels so that’s good to keep the cash flows.
Hoteliers said with 10 to 25 weddings have been happening in hotels keeps the cash flow in to the business to continue after the curfew has been lifted.

While Coronavirus rules may seem like a good excuse for cash-strapped families to have smaller weddings not all were happy.

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“People who really want the weddings use different strategies such as some get 50 per cent of the guests in the morning and 50 per cent in the evening,” Ratnayake said.

It is customary for weddings in Sri Lanka to have a large number of relatives and their children to be invited as well as family friends and colleagues of parents. (Colombo/ July 07/2020)