Cairo’s famous Al-Hussein mosque has been closed by the authorities until further notice as a result of worshippers' non-compliance with the new coronavirus precautions, mandatory since mosques reopened last week.
Some prayer-goers at the mosque had opposed the precautions related to physical distancing and had remained in the mosque after prayers were over, according to a Thursday statement by the religious endowments ministry, violating rules which prevent any non-prayer activities or gatherings from being held on mosque premises at present.
Under the new rules, worshippers are required to wear masks when they pray, bring their own prayer mats, and keep at least 1.5 metres apart for the daily prayer services, which have been allowed since Saturday.
Mosques, which had been closed since March, are also only allowed to remain open for 30 minutes for prayer services under the new regulations.
The ministry, which runs the country's mosques, decided to refer Al-Hussein mosque's imams and staff for investigation for “failure to perform their duties.”
The mosque is located in Old Cairo and houses a religiously significant shrine.
Under the reopening rules, doors leading to mosque shrines must be shut until further notice, in an attempt to reduce crowding.
The ministry called upon all worshippers, especially those who love Ahl al-Bayt, or the family of the Prophet, to adhere to all preventative measures, to avoid the closure of any more mosques.