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The New Arab

Iran's Rouhani says mosques to resume daily prayers as lockdown eases

Iran has recorded over 149,000 coronavirus infections [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 May, 2020

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As Iran's public employees went back to work, President Hassan Rouhani announced that mosques across the country will reopen.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that mosques would resume daily prayers across the country under strict protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"Doors to mosques across the country will open to the public for daily prayers," Rouhani said, according to Reuters.

The Iranian leader did not specify when the mosques would open their doors to the public, but said worshippers would have to observe social distancing when they do.

The announcement came as public employees went back to work on Saturday with a 7-hour daily schedule starting at 7:30 am.

As the lockdown eases, authorities are imposing strict measures to ensure adherance to health regulations. Iranians are now barred from using public transport – buses, metro and trains – if they are not wearing face masks, according to local media reports.

Rouhani also said on state television that shopping malls would be allowed to stay open later than 6 pm, which was previously imposed as the closing time for businesses.

Read also: Iran's newly elected parliament convenes despite pandemic

According to Reuters, Alireza Zali, head of the government-led Coronavirus Taskforce of Tehran, told the national TV station that despite the easing of measures, the situation in the capital was "still not favorable." 

Iran is the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak in the middle east, with over 149,000 confirmed infections and 7,734 deaths resulting from Covid-19.

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