ABU DHABI — Mosques, prayer spaces, and other places of worship in the United Arab Emirates will gradually reopen nationwide from Wednesday (July 1) and operate at 30 percent capacity.
The development comes following coordination with relevant federal and local authorities who continue to take all considerations for precautionary and preventive measures, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.
However, prayer spaces located on motorways, industrial areas, labor camps, cooperative societies, commercial centers and parks will all remain closed until further notice.
The public is instructed to comply with precautionary and preventive measures while coming for prayers, including adhering to a minimum 3-meter safety distance between worshipers and avoiding congregations and handshaking in all forms.
The development was announced during the UAE government’s regular media briefing on COVID-19 developments and the measures taken to reduce its impact.
Addressing the briefing, Al Dhaheri said: The decision to reopen places of worship does not include prayer spaces located on motorways, industrial areas, labor camps, cooperative societies, commercial centers and parks; these will all remain closed until further notice.”
He added: “Reopening places of worship is due to the tremendous efforts made by all relevant departments who initiated the coronavirus testing of all mosque imams and workers in places of worship.”
“Friday prayers will remain suspended in all mosques until further notice and therefore mosques will remain closed on Fridays only,” Al Dhaheri said.
“All should perform ablution at home and hand sanitize regularly in addition to wearing face masks before coming for each prayer,” he added.
“Qur’an recitals and readings should be from the worshiper’s own personal or electronic Moshaf,” he said, noting that using copies of the Holy Qur’an that are already available in mosques is prohibited.
“Every Muslim should bring his own prayer mat and should not leave it behind or store it at mosques after prayers,” Al Dhaheri said, noting all mosque-goers have to download Al Hosn app on their smartphones.
All the guidelines related to the gradual reopening of mosques will be circulated to all places of worship by the relevant authorities.
“Elderly people, including Emiratis and residents, as well as children aged under 12 years old and people with chronic and respiratory diseases, are not allowed to come to mosques or other places of worship under the current circumstances to ensure their safety,” Al Dhaheri warned.
He stressed the need for all those who are living with people in contact with COVID-19 patients as well as those living with patients under treatment should not to come to mosques until they get treated in order to ensure public safety.
“Mosques and places of worship where COVID-19 cases are detected shall be closed and necessary measures shall be taken,” he said.
Source: Saudi Gazette