Former Miss Lebanon holds wedding despite coronavirus ban
Former Miss Lebanon holds lavish wedding despite coronavirus gathering ban
Valerie Abou Chacra appears to be courting controversy in her decision to hold her wedding celebrations in the midst of a pandemic.
A former Miss Lebanon has attracted anger from Lebanese social media users after hosting her wedding amid coronavirus restrictions.
Valerie Abou Chacra, who won Miss Lebanon 2015, held her wedding despite a Cabinet-imposed lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
After a surge in coronavirus cases in the country, the cabinet decided to impose a set of lockdown regulations.
According to Interior Minister Brig. Gen Mohammad Fahmi, social gatherings were banned during the lockdown period.
Actress Abou Chacra married Lebanese businessman Ziyad in an open-space wedding in Bkerke.
A wedding gala was held for family and friends, pictures of which were posted on her social media pages, including Instagram.
People were quick to accuse Abou Chacra of ignoring government restrictions, while others criticised the authorities for seemingly allowing the wedding to take place.
Ministries revealed that some prescheduled weddings were allowed to go ahead if strict social distancing measures were following, however it is unknown if Chacra's wedding is one such event.
Health Minister Dr Hamad Hassan said during a televised interview that seven weddings had been granted permission to continue.
"We have to adapt and live the joys and sorrows, but with certain procedure," he said.
"Part of the regulations were that the party be held outdoors, social distancing be respected and the number of invitees must be limited in accordance to the venue’s seating and accommodation," an official told Arab News.
They could not confirm if an exemption had been granted to Abou Chacra's wedding.
Lebanon had re-imposed severe Covid-19 restrictions on Monday for the next two weeks, shuttering places of worship, cinemas, bars, and event spaces following a surge in infections.
There are at least 132 new infections and eight deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Lebanon has recorded just 51 deaths from the coronavirus since February.
"We have to go back a step back and work with determination as though the pandemic has now begun," Minister of Health Hamad Hassan was quoted in state media as saying.
"We have to work more seriously to avoid a medical humanitarian catastrophe."