Coronavirus: Muslim couples can make marriage vows in person from June 2 with safe distancing

Physical Muslim marriage solemnisations will resume first at the Registry of Muslim Marriages building.
Physical Muslim marriage solemnisations will resume first at the Registry of Muslim Marriages building.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Muslim couples can choose to make their marriage vows in person from Tuesday (June 2), although the number of attendees will be capped at 10 and solemnisations through video links are still encouraged.

Physical Muslim marriage solemnisations will resume first at the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) building from Tuesday, then at designated mosques from June 13, the ROMM and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said on Sunday.

The announcement comes as Singapore starts to reopen, with circuit breaker measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus ending on Monday.

It is in line with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth's (MCCY) earlier announced guidelines for solemnisations during the Phase One period, which allows for in-person ceremonies with up to 10 attendees who, apart from the two witnesses, must be immediate family members of the couple.

ROMM and Muis said on Sunday that for Muslim marriage solemnisations, only the bride, groom, two male witnesses, five other immediate family members of the couple, and the wali - the bride's lawful guardian - can attend the ceremony.

Seniors are also encouraged not to attend as they are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.

There should be no physical interactions between participants from different households, and those present must minimise their time in the ROMM or mosque, keep 1m from one another and follow a one-way flow for entering and exiting the solemnisation area.

Muslim couples have been allowed to tie the knot via video link since May 18 after Parliament enacted a law on May 5 recognising virtual solemnisations.

This was also approved by the Mufti after his office issued religious guidance saying that virtual ceremonies do not affect the religious validity of a marriage.

 
 
 

ROMM and Muis said on Sunday this option remains available after June 2 and that it is "safer than in-person solemnisations and more family members can witness the solemnisation via a video link".

MCCY has also encouraged couples in general to get married virtually to "better protect themselves and their loved ones from the risk of infection".

This option is not available for some couples due to religious reasons, however. For instance, the Catholic Church has said that Catholic couples will have to get married in person, as physical interaction of those celebrating the sacrament remains crucial.

But the Catholic and Methodist churches have both said that in-person ceremonies in churches, also capped at 10 people, can resume during the Phase One period.

A total of 2,723 couples have had to put off their initial wedding plans during the circuit breaker period from April 7 to June 1, according to Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee.