From now on, people in the US state will be able to apply for marriage licences remotely and clerks 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 on Saturday.
The decision comes after New York 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. But unless the weddings have been arranged in advance – and both their venues and officiants are still available despite lockdown – many of these ceremonies are not legally binding. 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 citizens 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.