UAE: Mosques, places of worship to gradually reopen from July 1

The UAE has announced it will gradually reopen mosques and places of worship from Wednesday, July 1, welcoming only 30 per cent of their total capacity.

That’s according to Dr. Saif Al Dhaheri, the official spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis & Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), who spoke at a press conference on Monday.

He added Friday prayers will remain suspended, and mosques will be closed during the time of the prayer. Certain masjids located in industrial areas, labour residential areas, shopping malls and public parks will remain closed until further notice.

Dr Saif said children under the age of 12, adults above 60 and individuals suffering from chronic diseases will not be permitted to enter any places of worship.

He also explained that residents will need to follow strict safety guidelines, which include maintaining three-metre social distance, wearing masks and avoiding physical contact, such as shaking hands with others, at all times.

People have also been instructed to bring their own Qur'an, prayer mat and to perform Wudhu, the ritual of washing performed by Muslims before prayer, at home before heading to the mosque.

Part of the guidelines released by the authorities require worshipers to download the Al Hosn app.

NCEMA will continue to assess the health situation in the country and will shut down any places of worship that report cases of COVID-19 or violate the safety guidelines set by the authorities.

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