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Wednesday 17 March 2021

Weddings Still Restricted in Tajikistan


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DUSHANBE (Asia-Plus, by Manzuma Firuz) — Tajikistan has lifted almost all restrictions that were associated with the spread of COVID-19. The only exception is the number of guests at a wedding. Some restaurant owners and wedding organisers believe that the Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response (SCCR afterward) has simply forgotten about this.

Wedding ceremonies were suspended last April. Earlier this summer, the SCCR decided that weddings should only take place in a small circle and with a limited number of people. According to the new rules, close relatives can participate in the celebration, and attendance must not exceed 30-40 people.

The Committee on Religion, Order Traditions, Celebrations and Ceremonies told Asia-Plus that there is still no document to lift the restriction. “The restriction should also be lifted by a SCCR decision. So far, no such decision has been taken”, the committee said.

The Ministry of Health also said that lifting the restriction was a SCCR prerogative.

A Commitee that does not exist
It is worth noting that the Standing Committee on COVID-19 Response (SCCR) is in name only. It has no address, no office, no press centre, no telephone and no means of communication. What is known is that Prime Minister Kohir Rasulzoda heads the Commitee.

In the meantime, all restrictions related to the coronavirus have been imposed and cancelled by the SCCR: holding cultural and sports events, prayers in mosques, meetings with prisoners, etc.

In particular, due to the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the country, meetings with prisoners were allowed from 16 November 2020 (banned since 31 March), prayers in mosques were resumed from 1 February (banned for almost a year), other activities were also allowed in accordance with health regulations. The number of guests at a wedding is still limited.

What the restaurant owners say
This issue is also of concern to restaurant owners, whose income has decreased due to the limited number of wedding attendees.

A representative of one of the capital’s most popular restaurants, who does not wish to be named, said the 11-month restrictions have seriously affected their operations, and they cannot offset the loss of 40 wedding participants:

Although the country has lifted all restrictions related to the disease, we don’t know why the restrictions have not yet been lifted for the weddings. That said, unofficially, most weddings are also held for 100 people, bypassing the decision.


Some say that weddings are allowed for 100 people, but the committees involved tell us that only 40 people are allowed. Perhaps the Standing Committee has forgotten this aspect of the issue.

The discrepancy in the numbers may be related to the fact that in early June last year, Tajikistan decided to limit the number of guests allowed at weddings to 100, but two weeks later, the authorities recommended reducing the number of guests to 30-40.

This restriction led people to look for new and illegal ways to invite more guests to their weddings. Some locals say that the issue can be solved by not officially paying the accurate tax per person needed for permission. However, the Committee for Religion, Order Traditions, Celebrations and Rites has refuted these rumours, saying they are unfounded.

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