Authority of the Saudi Arabia has issued new guidelines as the country prepares to reopen Mosques after weeks of closure in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. A circular, signed by the Islamic Affairs Minister, Sheikh Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al-Asheikh, said today, May 30 that when Mosques are opened from tomorrow, May 32, children under 15 will not be allowed to enter.
Under the guidelines, worshippers are expected to keep two meters apart and leave a row of space empty between each row.
The ministry insisted that worshippers must wear face masks at all times and to bring their own prayer mats and perform ablution at home before going to the Mosques, “as all toilets and places of ablution will be closed.
“The Ministry advised Imams to ensure that worshippers avoid crowding when entering and exiting the mosques.
“Water coolers and the distribution of food and drinks are not permitted. Windows and doors must be open at all times and copies of the Qur’an and other reading materials must be temporarily withdrawn.”
The ministry, which said that educational programs and workshops for memorizing the Qur’an would continue remotely online until further notice, stressed that smaller mosques can open 15 minutes before the call to prayer and should close 10 minutes after they finish. It said that on Fridays, Mosques with larger crowds can open 20 minutes before prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish, and the sermon should not last more than 15 minutes.
The ministry said that Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which attract millions of travelers from around the world, will remain suspended until further notice.Meanwhile, the grand Mosque in Makkah will remain closed.