Relaxation on congregational prayers for fully vaccinated individuals a welcome relief

The government’s decision to allow congregational prayers at surau and mosques for individuals who have completed the COVID-19 vaccination beginning tomorrow is a welcome relief for worshippers that could enliven surau and mosques nationwide.

The government’s decision to give priority to fully vaccinated individuals is an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the congregations, as well as to encourage those who wish to perform congregational prayers to complete the COVID-19 vaccination. However, the facility is still subject to the approval of the religious authority in each state.

Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said all Friday mosques and surau in the state will be allowed to reopen, limited to 30 or 50 earliest worshippers starting tomorrow.

“Worshippers including mosque officers and committee members as well as security personnel or volunteers must pass the 14-day period after completing their doses. The public can refer to the official channel of the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAINS) for the list of Friday mosques and surau allowed to reopen,” he said when speaking in conjunction with the Maal Hijrah Celebration and Hijrah Merdeka Online launch held virtually n Seremban today.

He said the permission was in line with the consent of the Yang Dipertuan Besar Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir and the advice and views of the Negeri Sembilan National Security Council (MKN) as well as the state health department.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Religious Affairs Department commissioner Mat Azmi Arshad said mosques and surau in the state were allowed to hold congregational prayers for an unlimited number of worshippers beginning July 8.

He said individuals who have not received their jabs were still allowed to perform congregational prayers at mosques and surau in the state provided that they comply with the strict SOPs set to contain the COVID-19 infection.

“However, those who have yet to be fully vaccinated and senior citizens who are at risk are advised to pray at home as the Delta variant spreads very fast,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

In KEDAH, the State Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAIK) said that it has yet to make any decision on allowing fully vaccinated to perform prayers at mosques and surau in the state.

Its director Mohd Yusri Md Daud said any new ruling on the SOPs would need to be discussed with the relevant parties, especially the Kedah State Health Department as the state is still logging over 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

Starting July 9, individuals who have received their COVID-19 jabs in the state are allowed to perform the obligatory prayers and Friday prayers at mosques and surau in the green, yellow and orange zones, limited to 100 worshippers (excluding officers and mosque committees).

For mosques and surau in the red zone, the department only allows 50 worshippers who have been vaccinated to perform prayers at the location.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his announcement yesterday said the government had agreed to allow only prayer activities for worshippers who have been fully vaccinated and this applies to all phases of the National Recovery Plan (PPN).

Muhyiddin explained that an individual is recognised as fully vaccinated only 14 days after getting their second jab for two-dose vaccines such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac, adding that for single-dose vaccines, namely Johnson & Johnson and CanSino, the individuals must pass the 28th day from the date of injection to be recognised as having completed his or her vaccination.

The facility is also granted to non-Muslims to attend (prayers at) their houses of worship, and it is subject to approval from the National Unity Ministry, he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency