SINGAPORE: More than half of Singapore’s mosques will extend their operating hours to be open for the five daily prayers from next week, as part of progressive reopening plans amid the COVID-19 situation.
Mosques in Singapore partially reopened on Tuesday with limited operating hours and prayer spaces for private worship, after Singapore exited its “circuit breaker” period on Jun 1.
From Monday, 46 mosques will extend their operating hours to be open for the five daily prayers, announced the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Friday (Jun 5).
Singapore has 71 mosques. Of those, 46 will operate between 5.30am and 7am as well as between 1pm and 9pm, said MUIS. The rest of the mosques will extend their hours based on the demand from congregants, it added.
Some mosques with no demand will not offer dawn prayers and will only open from 1pm to 9pm, while those located within small or non-residential areas with no demand for evening prayers may close earlier.
Under the initial phase of reopening from Jun 2 to Jun 7, it was announced that mosques would open from 1pm to 6pm and provide up to five marked private prayer zones.
Each zone can accommodate up to five individuals, or up to five households with a maximum of five individuals per household.
During the next phase from Monday, mosques will continue to suspend congregational prayers, including Friday prayers, in line with national guidelines for places of worship.
The limit on the number of worshippers allowed at any one time as well as distinct individual and family prayer zones will continue, said MUIS.
Precautionary measures such as temperature taking and the use of the SafeEntry system will continue.
MUIS said that worshippers have been complying with the safe management measures since the mosques reopened, including bringing along their own prayer items, wearing masks and following the guidance of mosque officers.
“We encourage congregants to abide by these measures to proactively minimise the possible spread of COVID-19 in our mosques,” said MUIS.
“We seek the support and the understanding of the Muslim community to safeguard public health while adhering to our religious obligations and social responsibility while in our mosques.”