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Friday, 22 January 2021

Cairo’s Nour Mosque reopened after two-week closure over ignoring coronavirus precautions

The endowments ministry continues to urge worshipers to adhere to the anti-virus precautionary measures

Lamis ElSharqawy, Wednesday 13 Jan 2021
Mosque sanitizing
File photo: Egyptian Religious Endowment ministry staff sanitise a Cairo mosque prior to reopening places of worship across Egypt (Photo courtesy of Egyptian religious endowment ministry)
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The Ministry of Religious Endowments reopened on Wednesday Cairo's well-known El-Nour Mosque after a two-week closure over the non-compliance of worshippers with coronavirus precautionary measures.

The ministry, which runs mosques nationwide, urged worshipers to adhere to wearing a face mask, using personal prayer rugs, and maintaining social distancing, the statement added.

On 29 December, the country’s religious endowments minister, Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, ordered the closure of the mosque shortly after learning that several worshippers were seen during the prayers not wearing face masks or using personal mats.

The ministry punished all imams and employees working in the mosque by imposing a 10-day pay deduction.

The closure decision was the first by the ministry since Egypt entered the second wave of coronavirus in December.

A host of similar decisions were taken during the first wave of the pandemic, including the closure of Cairo's iconic Al-Hussein mosque in July, when some prayer-goers at the mosque violated mandatory precautions of physical distancing and also remained in the mosque past the end of prayer times.

Egypt reallowed worshippers to perform daily prayers at mosques starting July after a four-month closure, provided they adhered to the virus-related precautions, foremost of which is wearing a mask when praying, bringing personal prayer mats, and keeping at least 1.5 meters apart for the daily prayer services.

A month later, Friday prayers were allowed to resume at major mosques.

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