The limits on weddings and funerals have led to mass cancellations in Canberra.
One couple who had been planning their wedding for a year-and a-half have postponed indefinitely - but now worry because the groom has a degenerative illness.
"It's been hard for us," the bride-to-be said.
Every month of postponement takes its toll. "We don't know what state he will be in," she said.
Funeral directors have been breaking the news to bereaved families that they can only have six mourners. "Some understand and some don't," one Canberra funeral director said.
The new rules are that weddings will be restricted to five people: the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses.
Funerals are restricted to 10 people - but four of those are likely to be staff from the funeral directors and the cemetery or crematorium.
"It means that funerals are all over for me," celebrant Michael Bower said.
He talked of one cancellation among many: "The person who had passed will be cremated in a direct delivery to the crematorium.
"Sometime down the track, the family will have a memorial service. But some families will just move on."
A couple had decided to postpone their big wedding and have the bare-minimum legal ceremony instead - and then hold the grand reception on the first anniversary (assuming the virus has gone by then).
Some funeral directors are planning to live-stream funerals so mourners can watch at home.
Canberra chapels now have prominent notices saying mourners shouldn't kiss or hug each other. Seats are far apart, each in a two metre by two metre square.
"It's an eerie atmosphere", according to Alex Millar of the Grantley Perry undertakers in Mitchell.
He said the bereaved had been "incredibly cooperative" when the new limits had been explained.
"They have every right to kick up a fuss but they have all been on the same page, understanding the seriousness of the situation and the need to protect our older population, many of whom are in these services."
Some families have suggested funerals at home "on the quiet", according to funeral director, Carly Dalton.
She has had to point out that a hearse and a line of cars outside a house would alert the authorities.
She said she could be fined $100,000 if she facilitated that kind of "secret" ceremony.
She, as the President of the Association of Independent Funeral Professionals, is also worried about the lack of virus-proof masks and gowns.
"We are exposed to the same risks as healthcare workers."
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