No physical distancing for congregational prayers in Kedah beginning April 1

ALOR SETAR, March 27 — Prayers in congregation are allowed at all mosques and surau in Kedah, without having to maintain a physical distance, beginning April 1, said State Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAIK) director Datuk Mohd Yusri Md Daud.

He said the permission was granted in line with the transition to the endemic phase and this would take effect statewide as Kedah Sultan, Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah has consented to the date.

“However, physical distancing is still mandatory for other mosque activities. The standard operating procedures in maintaining a physical distance of at least one metre must continue to be observed when sermons, talks, lectures and classes are being conducted in mosques or surau,” he said in a statement here today.

“The serving of food, gotong-royong and feasts are allowed but pre-packed food are encouraged. Though Quran citations and offer of prayers are allowed, the sessions must be kept brief with physical distancing maintained at all times.

He said when holding religious activities in mosques and surau during the month of Ramadan, the same SOPs must be adhered to, adding that congregational prayers for Tarawih, Tahajud, Witr and other optional prayers can be performed without physical distancing and the number allowed would depend on the capacity of the mosques or surau.

He said worshippers are still required to wear a face mask, register their attendance using the MySejahtera application, bring their own prayer mats and only those fully-vaccinated are allowed into the premises.

“They are not allowed to gather, sleep or have physical contact or shake hands with one another after performing their prayers,” he added.

Meanwhile in MELAKA, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said beginning April 1, the physical distancing requirement for congregational prayers all mosques and surau in the state would be according to the size of the prayer mat.

Physical distancing is still maintained but the rows are much closer than the earlier one-metre requirement,” he told reporters when met at Bukit Senjuang here today.

Melaka had earlier left it to the respective mosque management to use their discretion in allowing congregational prayers as the state has over 313 mosques which were sufficient despite following the physical distancing rule.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency