Bluff bride describes dream day turned worst cluster

Twenty-two Covid-19 cases are linked to a wedding held in Bluff in March. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS...
More than 80 Covid-19 cases are linked to a wedding held in Bluff in March. PHOTO: ALLIED PRESS FILES.
The bride at a wedding that is now the country's largest Covid-19 cluster has described how their dream day quickly turned for the worse.

The wedding was in Invercargill, and the reception held at Oyster Cove Restaurant and Bar on March 21, before a ban on gatherings over 100 people was introduced, and was attended by about 70 guests.

As of Thursday 87 people linked to the wedding have contracted Covid-19, with six new cases in the past 24 hours making it the country's largest cluster, eclipsing that at Marist College in Auckland, which has seen 84 cases.

The origins of the outbreak are linked to overseas travel, according to data released by the Ministry of Health.

The bride and groom and several family members had also tested positive, and the couple had spent their honeymoon in their "Covid-19 bubble" at home, Stuff reported.

The couple considered postponing the wedding as concerns over Covid-19 grew, and some guests decided not to attend, but as the groom's father could not make a later date they decided to carry on, Stuff reported.

"It was a fantastic time ... until afterwards," the bride told Stuff.

They received a phone call from a guest who tested positive on the Thursday, five days after the wedding, and as the couple began ringing all the guests the enormity set in when others said they were waiting on test results, Stuff reported.

"We feel lots of responsibility but everyone has been really reassuring," she told Stuff.

"They enjoyed the day and said they had made the decision to go."

The bride works at Invercargill City Council, where about 10 staff tested positive as part of the wedding cluster, and at least two other Southland workplaces had been affected, Stuff reported.

"Our main hope is that everyone gets better, that they all recover from it," the bride told Stuff.

The restaurant owners, who made all staff isolate after the wedding, said guests had travelled from around the country.

Venue owner Ross Jackson previously told the Otago Daily Times he believed the guests were not local but from Invercargill and beyond.

He said they had put health precautions in place, such as hand sanitising and minimal contact between people.

"I don't think that made a jot of difference to be fair, now I know what I know about Covid-19."

Bluff was a small place and since the news of the cluster broke, he had experienced the "odd sharp comment".

"You expect it, but to be fair, everyone in Bluff has been really supportive."

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