Mosques to reopen for private prayer

Individual worshippers can now pray in Greater Male' Region mosques, the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has announced.

The suspension of the daily congregations, later followed by the closure of the mosques were among the strict measures taken by authorities due to an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections in the Greater Male Region. However, after heavy public criticism was aimed at the authorities for closing the mosques to individual worshipers, the Islamic Ministry allowed some mosques to be used for individual worship.

During a press conference held Tuesday, HEOC announced that local mosques will be open to individual worshippers from Wednesday onwards although congregational prayers will continue to remain suspended. While the daily number of cases has fallen from above 1,000 to below 300, other restrictions have also been lightened, including shortening curfew hours. The curfew will now be in effect from 04:00 pm until 04:00 am. Individuals who wish to exercise will be allowed to exercise outdoors between 04:00 am and 08:00 am and will not require special permits to do so.

Although authorities have granted some eases, a permit will still be required to be outside during non-curfew hours. No changes were brought to the operational hours of shops, cafes, hotels, and restaurants. Such establishments can stay open for takeaway service until 4:00 pm and may offer delivery services until 12:00 am.