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Weddings in S. Korea canceled over COVID-19 fears Updated: 2020-03-01 12:08:55 KST

"Our wedding was initially scheduled in April because it was a special date for us. But due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the wedding has been cancelled and we now have to pick among the dates that are left."

This couple from the city of Cheongju had to call off their wedding planned for April 18th.
Wedding invitations will be discarded, the rings will be kept in their box, and all the other preparations are on hold.
They made the decision last week when hundreds of cases of coronavirus and multiple deaths were reported, which they said, left them with no other choice.

"All my husband's relatives are in Daegu where the majority of cases have occurred.
And hundreds of guests will be coming from all over the country, which should be avoided at this time."

And this couple is not alone.
A wedding organizer says most of the ceremonies that were planned for the next three weeks have been postponed, especially those involving international couples.
And according to a Daegu-based wedding company, the situation in that city is just as bad, if not worse.

"95 percent of weddings until early April have been canceled, COVID-19 being the reason for all of them. In my seven-year career, I've never seen this happening, not even during the 2015 MERS outbreak."

And these couples are faced with another problem - the cancelation fee.
According to consumer law, couples can only get a refund if their cancelation is due to a natural disaster.
For so-called 'social disasters' like fires or car accidents, they still have to pay a cancelation fee.
And COVID-19 falls into that category.

" COVID-19 is classified as a social disaster under the disaster safety law, so the penalty exemption does not apply to cancelations caused by the outbreak."

With no place to ask for help, couples have started a petition, calling for the government to come up with a penalty waiver policy.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
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