COVID-19 precautions to remain in place during Taraweeh prayers: Cabinet

Ahram Online , Friday 25 Mar 2022

Egypt's cabinet said on Friday that preventative measures against coronavirus will remain in place during mass night prayers (Taraweeh) in the holy month of Ramadan, which starts on 2 April.

File photo: Muslims take part in evening prayers called Tarawih during the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al Azhar mosque in the old Islamic area of Cairo, Egypt. Reuters

The Taraweeh – special prayers Muslims perform during the month of fasting – shall not exceed 30 minutes, with all precautionary measures and social distancing to be in place to control the spread of pandemic, a statement by the Cabinet's Media Centre said.

Having contacted the Ministry of Religious Endowments, which is responsible for administrating mosques nationwide, the media centre denied reports that prayers will be allowed in mosques without any regulatory measures.

The ministry told the media centre that the prayers will be held in mosques like last year, the statement added, noting that the weekly Friday prayers also will be held during Ramadan in accordance with all previously announced precautionary measures.

In February, the endowments ministry announced the re-opening of women’s prayer halls at mosques during Ramadan 2022 – if precautionary measures are followed – ending a two-year ban.

Women’s prayer areas at mosques have been closed since 2020 in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Capped at 30 minutes, the Taraweeh prayers were allowed at mosques for men in 2021 after a one-year ban.

In Ramadan 2020 when the pandemic hit Egypt, the Taraweeh prayers were only authorised at some mosques with a limited number of worshipers, and banned elsewhere nationwide.

According to the endowments ministry, the ban on Ramadan charity banquets – which are traditionally held publicly in the streets – as well as late-night prayers (Tahajjud) – or seclusion in mosques for a period of time in Ramadan (Itikaf) – will remain in effect for the third consecutive year.

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