New York (dpa) – New York authorities moved to halt an ultra-Orthodox Jewish wedding planned for Monday that was expected to draw thousands of guests, due to coronavirus contagion fears.
The wedding of a grandson of a Hasidic rabbi was to take place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near one of the city’s virus hotspots.
The event risked becoming a super-spreader event, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned.
“You can’t have a wedding now with thousands of people. There is no safe way to do that,” he told a Sunday press conference.
Officials served an order to the synagogue where the wedding was to be held, warning that gatherings must be limited to 50 people under New York coronavirus rules.
The synagogue accused authorities of “unwarranted attacks,” saying only a brief public reception had been planned, with social distancing rules in place.
The wedding will still go ahead, but be limited to close relatives, the synagogue added in the statement.
The incident highlights mounting tensions between New York officials and the Hasidic community over lockdown measures.
Cuomo has blamed violations of state guidelines on social distancing and mask wearing at Orthodox synagogues for rising caseloads in some communities.
The governor recently introduced targeted restrictions, including on religious gatherings, in hotspot areas, sparking sometimes-violent protests by members of the ultra-Orthodox community.
New York was the national epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the spring. It gained control of its infection rate over the summer, before seeing a recent uptick in cases in some neighbourhoods.
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