By Chew Lip Song
THE respective states will decide whether to lift the ban on Friday prayers in mosques and suraus, but they must adhere to strict health protocols to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said the decision would be based on the severity of the pandemic there.
He added that following meetings with various stakeholders, the government had come up with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the congregations, including participated by no less than three people, excluding the imam, and not exceeding 30.
“This decision is in line with the outcome from the meeting between National Security Council and myself with the Prime Minister on May 12,” he said.
Zulkifli said authorities must also be stationed at selected mosques and mosque committees to ensure that the SOPs are followed.
Other conditions include keeping a distance of at least one metre between congregants who must wear face masks, a counter at the entrance to check body temperature and frequent sanitation of the premises.
“Sanitation of prayer rooms and surrounding area including toilet and ablution space must be done before and after prayer; Use of the toilet should be limited to the number of toilets available at one time.
“Members of congregation without identification card are not allowed to enter and the mosques can open its doors only an hour before the call to prayer and closes shortly after,” he said.