Saudi to reopen 90,000 mosques except Makkah

RIYADH: Over 90,000 mosques will reopen on Sunday, May 31 in the Saudi Arabia, as the government relaxes social distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced on Thursday.

According to the Arab News, Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced a series of rules to reopen more than 90,000 major and minor mosques except Makkah, the holy city that attracts thousands of pilgrims.

Precautionary measure

After being sanitised, the larger mosques will be authorised to open 20 minutes before the Friday prayers and the sermon should not last more than 15 minutes.

On the other hand, smaller mosques, can open for 15 minutes before Azaan and closes after finish of the namaaz.

“Worshippers must keep two meters apart and leave a row of space empty between each row,” he said.

“They must also wear face masks at all times, bring their own prayer mats and perform ablution at home.”

Rugs to perform prayers, at the mosques, is highly recommended.

No copies of the holy Quran and religious books will be available in mosques.

Places of ablution and toilets inside the mosques are to be closed.

Elders and those with chronic diseases and children under the age of 15 are advised to stay at home and observe the prayers.

It is still unclear whether the major annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which attract millions of travellers will go ahead at the end of July.

Saudi Arabia has had more cases of coronavirus than any other place in the Arab world, with 78,541 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 425 deaths.

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