Mosques in Saudi Arabia will re-open for Friday prayers this week as the country prepares to relax the lockdown measures in place to check the spread of COVID-19. Two circulars issued by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs said the mosques will be open from May 31 at least until June 20, except the mosques in Mecca. The Great Mosque of Mecca, the largest in the world, is the hold building that surrounds the Kaaba stone.
A circular issued by the government to the mosques called upon the congregation leaders to adhere to hygiene measures at the time of re-opening.
“Worshippers must keep two meters apart and leave a row of space empty between each row,” said the circular. “They must also wear face masks at all times, bring their own prayer mats and perform ablution at home,” it added.
"The opening of the mosques should be 15 minutes before the call to prayer and the closing should be 10 minutes after the prayer," said the first circular.
The circular also said the copies of the Holy Quran will be temporarily removed from the mosque premises.
Concerning itself specifically with the Friday prayers, the second circular said that "the first call to prayer should be 20 minutes before the prayer time, and the mosques should be opened 20 minutes before the prayer time and closed 20 minutes after the prayer."