Combating coronavirus: Dubai issues fresh guidelines for reopening of places of worship


Places of worship in Dubai will be allowed to host worshippers at a maximum capacity of 50 per cent once a reopening date is announced, according to a new set of guidelines issued by the Community Development Authority (CDA) on Sunday.

The document stated that these centres of worship can only open during defined prayer timings, as agreed with the authority.

>The prayer must start exactly at the agreed time, and the place of worship must be closed immediately after.

>All doors and windows must also be kept open from the start of the prayers until the end.

>Worship centres must ensure that equipment to measure the temperature of worshippers prior to entering the premises is available.

>Anyone with a temperature of 37.5°C shall not be permitted entry.

>The document, viewed by Khaleej Times, further stated that the entry and exit of the place of worship should be conducted in two separate lines.

>Worshippers must practise physical distancing during entry and exit, and avoid overcrowding at these points.

>No distribution of masks and gloves at the entrances will be permitted.

>No kind of food donations or distribution within or around the premises of the place of worship will be allowed either.
All washrooms and ablution areas must be closed.

>Centres must commit to continuous cleaning of the place of worship, and ensure that there are closed bins for the hygienic disposal of used masks and other waste.

As reported earlier, houses of worship – such as churches, the Hindu temple in Bur Dubai, and the Gurunanak Darbar Sikh Temple in Jebel Ali – are already begun preparations to welcome worshippers once they reopen.

Disinfection tunnels, social-distance markers on floors, and hand sanitiser dispensers are among the various measures being implemented at these places.

Worshippers to bring own prayer materials

The guidelines issued by the CDA also include directives for believers attended prayer services.

>Apart from adhering to the mandatory wearing of masks and gloves and maintaining a social distance of two metres from other believers, worshippers have to keep one row empty between every other row of worshippers.

>They will need to bring their own prayer books and other prayer-related materials.

>No individual prayers will be allowed after the general prayer is concluded.

>Worshippers will have to leave the place of worship immediately after the prayer, and avoid physical greetings such as handshakes.

>Gathering before or after the prayer will not be permitted.

>The places of worship are not allowed to permit entry to children under 12, elderly over the age of 60, those with chronic diseases, those prone to infection, and anyone who has been in contact with positive Covid-19 cases.

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