Oman to reopen mosques for vaccinated worshipers
Oman's ministry of endowments and religious affairs announced on Sunday the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, which saw the country cancel public Friday prayers to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The ministry said that permits would be granted to mosques that meet the necessary requirements, and that online applications for permits would open on 19 September.
"The ministry, by the grace of God, announces the granting of permits to open mosques for Friday prayer rituals, according to details that include established precautionary controls," the ministry said in a tweet.
Conditions for reopening will include the formation of a team tasked with verifying that worshippers have been fully vaccinated, and turning away those who are not.
Mosques must also ensure that attendees adhere to social distancing, wear masks, and bring their own prayer mat.
In addition, mosques may only receive 50 percent of their usual capacity.
In a tweet released by the official "Oman Against Covid" Twitter account, a list of time restrictions were also announced.
The mosque may open 30 minutes before prayers begin, the prayers must not exceed 15 minutes and the sermon, or 'khutba', delivered following the prayer must not exceed 15 minutes. The mosque must also close 30 minutes after prayers.
Oman's Covid-19 cases have been steadily declining. As of Sunday, there were 755 Covid-19 cases, five of which were in intensive care.
Since the start of the pandemic, Oman has had a total of 303,000 Covid-19 cases and 4,093 reported deaths.