In a district of Somalia controlled by the Islamist group al-Shabab, men and women are banned from shaking hands. (map, from bbcimg.co.uk)
It is the first time social restrictions like those have been introduced.
Imposed in the southern town of Jowhar, the ban says men and women who are not related are also barred from walking together or chatting in public.
And the al-Shabab administration warned that those who disobeyed the new rules would be punished according to Sharia law.
The Islamist group has most of central and southern Somalia under its control, where it has already banned music.
Somalia has not had a stable government since 1991 and only parts of the country’s capital, Mogadishu, and a few other areas, are under the control of the UN-backed government.