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Covid US: Washington DC mayor prohibits dancing at weddings as restrictions are eased

Washington DC has loosened most of its COVID-19 restrictions and doubled allowed capacity in places like schools, gyms and live entertainment events – but has drawn a line on dancing or standing at weddings. 

Under an order issued on April 26 by Mayor Muriel Bowser, wedding attendees must remain socially distanced in their seats with standing and dancing both prohibited. The order does lift attendance limits, however, with weddings allowed at 25 percent capacity or up to 250 people, whichever is fewer.  

The dancing ban was put in place as an extra layer of safety to reduce the spread of COVID-19 because when people stand and dance their behavior changes, the DC mayor’s office told FOX 5 DC. For example, people are more likely to get close and touch each other without a dancing ban.

It was one of the events now allowed under the new COVID-19 guidelines in DC and was listed in the mayor’s 12-page decree that also loosened restrictions in other areas, such allowing people to buy booze without food, and doubled capacity from 25 to 50 per cent in non-essential retail businesses, restaurants, bars, gyms and colleges. 

Dancing won’t be allowed at Washington DC weddings as nuptials’ season begins

The dancing ban was put in place as an extra layer of safety to reduce the spread of COVID-19 because when people stand and dance their behavior changes, the DC mayor's office told FOX 5 DC

The dancing ban was put in place as an extra layer of safety to reduce the spread of COVID-19 because when people stand and dance their behavior changes, the DC mayor’s office told FOX 5 DC 

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowers loosened COVID-19 restrictions in nearly every societal aspect but drew the line at dancing at weddings

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowers loosened COVID-19 restrictions in nearly every societal aspect but drew the line at dancing at weddings

This is COVID-19's toll in Washington DC to date

This is COVID-19’s toll in Washington DC to date

But the dance ban is turning off future newlyweds. 

Jillian Harig, a bride who is getting married in July, told FOX 5 that people look forward to having fun and dancing at a wedding as part of the celebration. 

‘We’re used to wearing masks at this point, we’ve been doing this since March. Why not allow dancing but make masks a requirement or even requiring a negative COVID test for wedding guests or provide your vaccination card,’ Harig told FOX 5.

‘A lot of the country is reopening at this point so to me no dancing or standing at a reception seems like it’s a little bit more of stepping backwards instead of moving forward to more of that normalcy that we’re all looking forward to,’ she said. 

‘I think the light is at the end of the tunnel. I am disappointed and shocked about this.’

The executive order is in effect until May 20, unless the mayor’s office issues another update. Anyone who violates the order can be fined, and venues can have their business licenses suspended or revoked. 

A Washington DC wedding planner is doing her best to allow couples and guests to dance by moving the weddings out of DC into neighboring states, where restrictions are looser

A Washington DC wedding planner is doing her best to allow couples and guests to dance by moving the weddings out of DC into neighboring states, where restrictions are looser

Dancing is a staple in weddings, but anyone who violates DC's order can be fined, and venues can have their business licenses suspended or revoked

Dancing is a staple in weddings, but anyone who violates DC’s order can be fined, and venues can have their business licenses suspended or revoked

The is the number of deaths per day in April and May  due to COVID-19

The is the number of deaths per day in April and May  due to COVID-19

The is the number of infections per day in April and May due to COVID-19

The is the number of infections per day in April and May due to COVID-19

 Stephanie Sadowski, a DC wedding planner and owner of SRS Events, told The New York Post and FOX 5 DC, that it’s ‘insane’ and said she’s moving couples outside of DC to Maryland and Virginia, which have looser wedding restrictions. 

But it’s cutting it close, she said. Some of the parties are scheduled within the next week or two.  

‘They want to have a party. Planning their wedding, they’ve made concessions along the way, they’ve reduced, reduced and reduced their guest count in Washington, DC,’ she told The New York Post and FOX 5 DC. 

Illinois and Michigan have similar dance bans, the New York Post reported. 

New York and New Jersey recently eased their restrictions on dancing at weddings by allowing a wedding guest to dance only with his or her partner.  

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