Only 30 allowed for congregational, Friday prayers in FT green zones

PUTRAJAYA: Beginning tomorrow, all mosques and selected suraus in green zones within the Federal Territories will be allowed to hold congregational and Friday prayers including for Hari Raya while other prayers during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period will be allowed in stages after May 15.

Religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had agreed to the proposal, but with certain conditions in place.

He said the number of worshippers for Friday and congregational prayers must not exceed 30, while the premises must be monitored by authorities such as the police and state religious officials.

Mosque and surau committee members meanwhile must ensure that all standard operating procedures (SOP) from the National Security Council (NSC) and health ministry are followed.

“I have been told that the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) will issue more detailed guidelines for mosque and surau authorities in the Federal Territories,” he said at a press conference here today.

He said social distancing must be observed both within and outside the mosques, while congregants must wear face masks and maintain a distance of one metre between themselves and others.

He said those entering and leaving the mosques must do so in turns while continuing to observe social distancing.

“Those who have chronic illnesses, senior citizens above the age of 70 and children below the age of 15 are not allowed to gather at mosques.”

Worshippers must also perform their ablutions at home and bring their own prayer mats.

Zulkifli urged state religious authorities to take a serious view of the matter and to implement other measures such as scanning body temperatures and recording congregants’ attendance.

He also said the number of worshippers allowed in other states would be up to the respective religious authorities, in line with the views of the health ministry and NSC.

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