COVID-19: 5 private prayer zones in each mosque upon reopening on 2 June

Masjid Sultan in Singapore. (PHOTO: Ore Huiying/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Mosques will reopen progressively from 2 June when Singapore enters Phase 1 of the post-circuit breaker period, but congregation and Friday prayers will remain suspended for the time being.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said in a media release on Wednesday (27 May) that mosques will begin by offering limited spaces for individual prayer.

In each mosque, there will be five marked private prayer zones for up to five individuals, or up to five households with a maximum of five individuals per household.

From 2 to 7 June, the mosques will be open for daily prayers between 1pm to 6 pm. From 8 June, most mosques will be open for individual worship for five daily prayers.

Priority to mobile essential workers

Given the limited prayer spaces, MUIS has urged the community give priority to mobile essential workers who, due to the nature of their work, are unable to perform prayer at a fixed workspace. This will include delivery drivers and riders, as well as drivers of personal hire vehicles and taxis.

Those who can perform their worship at home should continue to do so, MUIS said. The elderly, who are especially vulnerable to infection, are strongly discouraged from coming to the mosques during Phase 1 of reopening. Other vulnerable groups such as the young are also discouraged from performing prayers at the mosques for the time being.

Besides regular disinfection of common spaces, mosques will also introduce physical checks, temperature taking and the SafeEntry digital check-in system. Safe distancing measures will also be implemented at these venues.

Mosque-based kindergartens to resume services

From 2 June, pre-school services at 15 mosque-based kindergartens will resume. In line with Early Childhood Development Agency’s guidelines, Kindergarten 1 and Kindergarten 2 classes will reopen from 2 June, while Nursery 1 and Nursery 2 classes will reopen from 8 June.

MUIS said that its approach is taken in view of possible hidden cases in the community, and to support the national effort to curb the community spread of COVID-19.

“As Singapore moves into the first phase of easing of circuit breaker restrictions, we must continue to keep mosques safe to protect our community, and do our part in the national fight against the virus,” it said.

“In order to do this, MUIS will introduce maximum precautionary measures to minimise the possibility of a second wave of community infections, and consequently having to close mosques again.”

Mosques in Singapore have been closed since 13 March, and services such as Islamic learning moved online, while congregational prayer and communal activities were suspended.

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