A mosque in Kuwait. Under the decision, sermons, workshops and all other activities in mosques will remain suspended. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Authorities in Kuwait have lifted the temporary suspension of congregational prayers, but with restrictions including setting of markings that determine the place of the worshipers during the prayer to keep them at least 1.5 metres apart and leaving space of one row between every two rows of worshipers, and keeping the doors of mosques open as worshipers enter and exit to avoid touching door handles and sterilising mosques.

Mosques will open five minutes before the call to prayer, and close 10 minutes after prayer.

However, Friday prayers and women’s prayer rooms will remain closed pending further notice, according to a decision by the Minister of Endowment, Fahd Al Afasi.

Under the decision, sermons, workshops and all other activities in mosques will remain suspended.

The high-density mosques will continue to be closed, including suburban mosques across the country, as well as mosques in commercial, investment, industrial, artisan and agricultural districts, and mosques in private housing, petrol stations, highways, public parks, and markets.

For more than three months now, Kuwait has banned communal prayers, with mosques across the country broadcasting an altered call to prayer telling believers to “pray in your homes” amid fears such large gatherings could aid the spread of COVID-19.

Kuwaiti mosques have changed the words hayya ‘ala as-salah (come to prayers) to as-salatu fi buyutikum (pray in your homes).

Saudi Arabia also allowed mosques to open for Friday prayers, as the kingdom eased restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Mosques were authorised to open 20 minutes before Friday prayers and close 20 minutes after they finish.

Saudi authorities said that restrictions would be lifted in three phases, culminating in ending of the curfew - with the exception of the holy city of Mecca - from June 21.