JUNE 30, 2020 — Mosques, prayer spaces and other places of worship gradually reopens commencing on July 1, with a targeted limited capacity of 30 percent. In line with this recent announcement by the government of the UAE, relevant federal and local authorities are continuously taking all considerations to implement public health safety measures. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) credits reopening places of worship to the “tremendous efforts made by all relevant departments who initiated the COVID-19 testing of all mosque imams and workers.” Implementing guidelines on the gradual reopening of mosques shall be circulated to all places of worship. Mosques and places of worship where coronavirus cases have been reported are also closed to the public.
Preventive Measures Currently Implemented
As announced by Dr Saif Juma Al Dhaheri, NCEMA spokesman, the places of worship to reopen excludes prayer spaces located on motorways, industrial areas, labour camps, cooperative societies, commercial centres and parks. Mosques are also close on Fridays; hence, Friday prayers will also remain suspended in all mosques until further notice.
The public is also advised to comply with preventive measures during worship, as follows:
- Social distancing, with a minimum of three (3) metres apart, shall be enforced.
- Worshipers must refrain from handshaking and forming congregations.
- Regular hand sanitation before going to places of worship must be observed.
- Face masks shall be worn in places of worship at all times.
- Ablutions shall also be performed at home.
- Using communal Holy books in mosques is prohibited.
- Muslims are required to bring their own prayer mats. Prayer mats should not be left or stored in mosques after prayers.
- Mosque-goers are encouraged to download Al Hosn app on their smartphones.
In addition to the above measures, elderly people, children aged under 12 years old, and people with chronic and respiratory diseases are not allowed in mosques or other places of worship. Individuals who have been in contact or are currently living with COVID-19 patients are also restricted to attend the same.