Mosques to be Allowed to Reopen

Egypt’s Endowments Ministry has announced mosques in the country will be allowed to reopen this weekend and perform five daily prayers. However, they will have to comply with anti-Coronavirus measures.

A ban on Friday’s collective prayers will not be lifted and no lessons, seminars, recitations or other activities will be able to resume. Toilets will have to stay closed and banquet halls will be closed. Funerals, funeral prayers, marriages and any other social events will also be banned.

Shrines will remain closed and women’s prayers rooms will stay closed. Imams or those in charge of mosques should be present during all prayers and must not leave the keys with anyone who is not a Ministry employee. Mosques will have to be opened ten minutes before the Adhan and closed ten minutes after prayers finish to allow the mosque to remain open for more than half an hour after the Adhan.

Employees should regularly disinfect and sanitise mosques. The reopening will be limited to main mosques. Small mosques may be reopened with written approval from the director of the relevant Endowments Directorate. In these cases, mosques will be opened under the directorate’s supervision in line with the anti-Coronavirus guidelines. Worshippers will have to wear face masks and bring their own prayer rugs. They should also comply with social distancing rules and social distancing markers will be placed in the mosques. In addition, new mosques can be opened for prayers after their management is handed over the Endowments Ministry, provided they follow the regulations for reopening and the instructions of the relevant Directorate. Where worshippers do not comply with the regulations, the mosque will be closed immediately and will not be reopened until Coronavirus is after. Where the keys of mosques are left with anyone who is not a Ministry employee, the maximum penalty will be imposed on the responsible person. Anyone violating these guidelines will be referred to the Values Committee in the Religious Sector. The head of the Religious Sector will be provided with a list of mosques which will be reopened for prayer in line with the controls by 25 June, under the responsibility of the head of each directorate. Anyone who opens a mosque without the supervision of endowment directorates will be prosecuted. Full story

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