Egypt ends coronavirus restrictions for mosques, reopens shrines for visitors

Ahram Online , Friday 6 May 2022

Egypt’s Ministry of Endowments announced that starting from Sunday, all mosques and shrines will be open and will operate normally nationwide after two years of coronavirus restrictions.

An aerial view shows Muslim devotees praying on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Heliopolis neighbourhood, in the Egyptian capital Cairo, on May 2, 2022.AFP

In a short statement issued on Friday, Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa announced that Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly approved the full re-opening of mosques and shrines.

Gomaa added that mosques will operate normally starting from Sunday 8 May, allowing the return of religious and Quran recitation lessons in mosques as per the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

In his Friday prayer sermon at the recently renovated El-Seyada Nafissa Mosque and shrine, Gomaa revealed that mosques will be closed right after the Ishaa (‘Evening’) prayers and will open at 9am after briefly being opened for Fajr (‘Dawn’) prayers, as was the norm before the pandemic.

He also stated that Islamic shrines will be available for visitors in non-praying times, adding that the space outside El-Hussein Mosque and shrine will be open for the public throughout the day starting from Sunday.

On 27 April, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi re-inaugurated El-Hussein Mosque after extensive renovations.

El-Hussein Mosque, one of Egypt’s most significant Islamic sites, given that it is the final resting place of Imam El-Hussein — the grandson of the Prophet — was closed in March for renovations.

Egypt closed its mosques and shrines for visitations in March 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country. Following that, the government began to re-open mosques gradually, allowing devotees to pray five times per day in large mosques while adhering to social distancing measures.

Currently, the average rate of coronavirus infections dropped in Egypt, with the country officially recording a daily average of 46 infections and five deaths over the past week (23 to 29 April 2022).

Short link: