UAE announced the gradual reopening of mosques on 29 June. Dr Seif Al Dhaheri, the official spokesman for the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, said mosques are set to open on July 1. However, mosques in external roads, industrial areas, labour cities, shopping malls and parks, will remain closed. All the other mosques will be open to the public. Meanwhile, in a recent update, the UAE government announced that Residents Returning To The UAE Need Pre-Departure Covid Test.
The mosques will be open at 30 per cent capacity and Friday prayers will stay suspended until further notice. Authorities have already tested Imams and workers serving at mosques for Covid. In addition, people who live in close proximity with confirmed Covid cases should not attend prayers or enter the mosques. Children under 12 and people with chronic illnesses will also not be permitted entry to mosques.
- All those who plan on visiting mosques must download the Al Hosn app.
- Masks and social distancing of 3 meters are mandatory
- Worshippers must carry their own prayer mats and not leave them behind when leaving
- Reading Quran should be on one’s own electronic devices and/or should be brought from home. Worshippers must avoid using the physical Quran available at mosques.
- Any mosque that reports cases will be immediately closed
And in case you’re looking for places to holiday, check out these 8 Secluded Places Around The World Perfect For Social Distancing.
Saudi Arabia Reopens Mosques In Makkah
After three months of being closed, Saudi Arabia reopened 1,560 mosques in Makkah on 21 June. Strict safety measures are put in place for worshippers. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Makkah confirmed that the mosque has put forth strict rules such as ensuring prayer rugs are used only once and worshippers maintain safe distance. On another note, did you know You Can Now Visit Makkah Despite Covid, Thanks To The New ‘Experience Makkah’ App?
Further, social distancing stickers are placed across the mosque to guide worshippers. In addition, volunteers will also inform worshippers about the safety distance when they enter the mosque. Besides, information posters have been placed inside and outside the mosque.
After intensive cleaning and maintenance, over 90,000 mosques in Saudi, except in Makkah, opened doors to the public on 31 May. Over 90,000 mosques were reopened as part of the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions. Worshippers coming to the mosque were asked to perform ablution at home, wash hands and use sanitisers before going out to the mosque and after coming back home. Those above 60 years or with chronic diseases were advised to perform their prayers at home. Further, worshippers were also advised to recite the Holy Quran online from one’s own mobile phone or from a privately owned copy of the Holy Quran.
Precautionary measures inside Mosques. pic.twitter.com/BvwPGASc49
— Ministry of Islamic Affairs 🇸🇦 (@Saudi_MoiaEN) May 27, 2020
In addition, everyone were asked to bring their own prayer mat and maintain a two-metre distance between one another prayer. Children under the age of 15 were not be permitted. Putting on a face mask and avoiding shaking hands and other contact is also recommended.
However, despite all the safety rules the ministry closed 71 mosques in different regions of the kingdom. Covid cases were detected among worshippers as they failed to adhere to the safety rules and protocols.