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Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department: Couples required to undergo Covid screening before marriage solemnisation

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 23): Couples planning to tie the knot in Penang are required to undergo COVID-19 screening prior to their marriage solemnisation, effective today.

Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department director Datuk Mohd  Zakuan Zakaria said the screening requirement, which can also be done using the COVID-19 Self-Test Rapid Antigen Kit, also covers the wali (guardian of the bride) and the witnesses to prevent the spread of the virus.

"For the COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit, it needs to be done 30 minutes before the marriage solemnisation ceremony which is only allowed to be conducted at the District Religious Office and only couples with negative results will be allowed to proceed with the marriage solemnisation ceremony.

"For potential brides or bridegrooms who are from different districts or states, they must get permission from the police and if they cannot get the permit for inter-district or inter-state travel, they can appoint a representative to accept the marriage on their behalf," he said in a statement today.

He said the marriage solemnisation ceremony at the PAD will be conducted in strict compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP).

Only 10 couples would be married every day and for each ceremony only seven people, comprising the bride and groom, wali, witnesses, either parents of the groom and a photographer will be allowed to be present, he said, adding that the ceremony should not take more than 30 minutes.

On the pre-marriage course, Mohd Zakuan said it had been suspended and replaced with interviews where the couples could register  for the interview at the website emunakahat.penang.gov.com.

"Face-to-face family or domestic counselling service has also been suspended. It is now done online via email, and through telephone calls between 8.30 am and 4 pm on any working day,” he added.

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