Couples in the Philippines have exchanged vows and kisses with surgical masks at a government sponsored mass wedding over fear of deadly Coronavirus virus.
The mass ceremony, where 220 couples said ‘I do,’ took place on Thursday in the coastal city of Bacolod.
All participants in the ceremony were required to wear and kiss through blue surgical masks in the event.
John Paul Inventor, 39, said the day will live long in his memory. He married his partner of seven years and the mother of their two children
He explained: ‘It feels different to kiss while wearing masks, but it was required. The place was jam-packed.’
The couples taking part in the ceremony had to provide the authorities with evidence of their travel history for 14 days.
That is the standard quarantine period for people arriving from China and the maximum incubation period for the virus.
Bacolod mayor Evelio Leonardia presided over the ceremony.
He added: ‘If our families are strong, the city of Bacolod becomes strong, too.’
Mass weddings are a tradition in Bacolod and more than 2,000 couples took part in a ceremony in 2013.
They are also commonplace in South Korea.
Earlier this month, around 30,000 people went to the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul, according to South Korea’s Unification Church. Those attending were given hand sanitisers and surgical masks.
The Philippines recorded the first coronavirus death outside China while at least three dozen of its citizens overseas have caught the virus.