New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has signed an order allowing online marriages, as many weddings are cancelled under lockdown restrictions. From now on, New Yorkers will be able to apply for marriage licences remotely and clerks will be allowed to conduct ceremonies virtually. Mr Cuomo joked that the decision meant there was now “no excuse” for couples not to tie the knot. “You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no?” he said in his briefing.
The decision comes after the state extended lockdown measures until 15 May. More than 13,000 people have died of coronavirus in New York city alone. Some people have already turned to online celebrations to mark what would have been their special day. New York isn’t the first place to turn to the internet to offer a legal solution. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently announced that citizen’s and residents would be allowed to get married online, after the justice ministry created a website for couples to submit required documents. A virtual ceremony, complete with a registrar and witnesses, can then take place. Similar measures have been introduced in the US state of Colorado, where couples are being allowed to apply for marriage licences online. Meanwhile, one county in Ohio is allowing people to obtain marriage licences online in specific circumstances, such as when one of the partners is a health care worker, suffers from a serious illness or has health insurance issues.