Saudi Arabia finally reopens mosques after 2-months hiatus


A Muslim worshipper covers his head with a prayer mat as he wears a mask after prayers outside the Grand Mosque in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia has finally re-opened the doors to their mosques for worshippers, the first time in more than two months.

The kingdom, on Sunday, began to ease restrictions imposed on worship centres to combat the coronavirus.

However, there are strict rules to be adhered to.

Worshippers are to use their face masks before, during and after the prayer times. They are also to use personal prayer mats, avoid handshakes and stand at least 2 metres apart.

Children under 15, the elderly and people with chronic diseases are not permitted in the mosques.

People must also perform their ablution rites at home, before coming to the prayer grounds.

“My eyes filled with tears when I entered the mosque and when I heard the call to prayer. Thank God for this blessing that we are back to the houses of worship,” said Maamoun Bashir, a Syrian resident in Riyadh.

Earlier, Saudi authorities said that restrictions would be lifted in three phases, culminating in a curfew ending on June 21, except the holy city of Mecca.