Saudi Arabia sets new coronavirus protocols for funerals, weddings, women’s salons

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Saudi Arabia set new coronavirus precautionary measures for many activities and institutions, including how to safely conduct funerals and weddings, and protocols for women’s beauty salons, among other facilities, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday citing the Ministry of Interior.

The Kingdom lifted on June 21 all previously imposed coronavirus restrictions and began the final phase of its reopening plan, the “return to normalcy”.

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However, Saudi officials have repeatedly warned that everyone in the Kingdom must still adhere to precautionary measures such as wearing a mask or face covering in public places, constantly washing hands and using sanitizers, avoiding crowds and practicing social distancing to avoid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

Here are the coronavirus precautionary measures for some occasions and activities:

Funerals and Salat al-Janazah (Islamic funeral prayer)

Cemetery employees must wear face masks at all times.

Funeral attendees must wear face masks at all times.

Cemetery doors must be sterilized before and after the deceased is buried.

Tools using for digging and burial must be sterilized before and after the deceased is buried.

Individuals who are responsible for digging the grave, carrying the body, and carrying out the burial must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds.

If soap and water are not available, they should regularly disinfect their hands with alcohol-based sanitizers for no less than 20 seconds.

Funerals attendees should be limited to fifty people only.

Overcrowding is not allowed during the funeral.

Individuals responsible for burial should be limited to two and it’s preferable that they be cemetery employees.

The number of people responsible for carrying the deceased should be minimized to the least possible number and crowding at the grave should be prohibited. Four to eight people may be responsible for carrying the deceased and they must be members of one family. Two to four people can be assigned to place the deceased in the grave and carryout the burial.

Funeral attendees must maintain social distancing and keep 1.5 meters away from each other.

Salat al-Janazah cannot be performed in a mosque, it can only be performed in the cemetery, and people must maintain a 1.5 meter distance between each other while praying.

Shaking hands and physical contact is prohibited when offering condolences to the family of the deceased.

It’s preferable that children under the age of 15, and the elderly, and people suffering from chronic diseases not attend funerals.

No two funerals can be carried out at the same time.

Read: Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia holds ‘limited’ Hajj pilgrimage for various nationalities


Employees in wedding halls must wear face masks at all times.

Attendees must wear face masks at all times.

Wedding halls should not be used for more than five hours.

The attendees must not exceed fifty people.

The wedding hall’s capacity must be big enough to ensure social distancing can be maintained between tables and chairs.

Receptionists must sanitize hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer, minimize contact with attendees and maintain social distancing between the attendees.

Women’s beauty services are allowed to be offered in wedding halls, given that coronavirus-related precautionary measures in salons are also adhered to.

Valet parking is allowed.

Sanitization of halls and surfaces must be done before and after each time a hall is used, with a focus on frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, chair armrests, elevator buttons, etc.

Good ventilation of the halls must be ensured at all times, and air filters for ventilation systems and air conditioners should be changed regularly.

It’s preferable to use disposable, single-use cutlery and tableware.

For food buffets, items which are frequently touched such as food covers and serving utensils should be removed, and someone should be assigned to uncover the food and serve the guests, given that the individual responsible wears a face mask and gloves.

Shaking hands is forbidden when offering congratulations to the family of the married couple.

Temperature check points must be placed at the main entrance of the hall and everyone entering must answer questions about any respiratory symptoms.

People sing celebration songs during a mass wedding ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 24, 2008. (File photo: Reuters)
People sing celebration songs during a mass wedding ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 24, 2008. (File photo: Reuters)

Read: Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia sets guidelines for malls, industrial sector, as it reopens

Women’s salons

It’s preferable to accept customers only through reservations and if customers must wait inside then social distancing must be maintained in waiting areas or customers can wait in their cars.

It’s preferable to inform a customer to wash her own air prior to going to the salon.

Salon employees must wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 40 seconds between each two customers or sanitizing their hands with alcohol-based sanitizers for no less than 20 seconds.

The owner of the establishment must organize work shifts so as to minimize the number of people, both employees and customers, at all times to ensure social distancing.

Serving food and beverages is prohibited. Only bottled water can be served.

Women must not wear accessories and jewelry when going to salons.

Salon employees must wear a face mask at all times.

Customers must wear a face mask whenever possible.

Salon employees are advised to wear a face shield (which covers the entire face from the forehead to the chin or below) when dealing with customers.

It’s preferable that employees wear gloves when carrying out services to customers, and to wear a new pair when dealing with another customer.

Hairdressers must use disposable, single-use wraps around the necks of each customer before placing the gown for haircuts on them.

After every service offer, all the tools used such as gloves, haircut gowns, etc, must be disposed of immediately.

For hair styling and cutting services, new tools must be used for every customer, including combs, blades, ect.

In case a sink is used to rinse the hair of a customer, the employee must wear a face mask, and place a clean towel on the face of the customer to protect her mouth, nose and eyes.

Employees who wash hair and clean faces must wear face shields.

It’s advised that one employee is assigned to carry out all the services requested by each customer.

Moroccan bath services are allowed, given that the bathroom is sanitized after her use and the employee wears protective gear such as face mask and a plastic body suit. For this service, customers are advised to bring their own required items such as towels, loofah and soap.

Sauna and steam rooms can only be used by one customer at a time. Each customer must be advised to sit in a different place than the previous customer and the customer must sanitize their hands prior to entry.

Massage tables must be cleaned and sanitized daily and after being used by each client. Customers getting a massage must be offered disposable, single-use towels or bring their own.

Salons must use disposable, single-use towels and not regular re-washable ones.

Salons must clean and sanitize all surfaces routinely every two hours.

Chairs where customers are seated to get their services must be re-arranged to ensure social distancing is maintained. The chairs must also be sanitized after being used by each customer.

Salons must ensure there’s a temperature check point at all entrances and customers are asked about any respiratory symptoms.

Woman looks at makeup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 19, 2018. (File photo: AP)
Woman looks at makeup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 19, 2018. (File photo: AP)

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