Pilgrims are seen at the Prophet Mosque in Madinah. Currently, the ground floor of the mosque has an area of 98,500 square metres and accommodates 167,000 worshippers. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Saudi Arabia will allow mosques to open for Friday prayers and five daily congregational prayers, Saudi news agency reported on Tuesday, as the Kingdom starts to ease restrictions on movement, except for in Mecca.

Mosques will be authorised to open 15 minutes before prayers and should close 10 minutes after they finish, according to the rules set by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

For Friday prayers mosques will be authorised to open 20 minutes before prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish. The Friday sermon and prayers in total should be 15 minutes long.

No books or copies of the Quran will be available in mosques as a precautionary measure. And worshippers must leave a distance of 2 meters between them and a space of one row between two rows. All water coolers and refrigerators are to be closed.

Toilets and places of ablution inside the mosques are to be closed.

The suspension of lessons, lectures and classes for memorisation of the Holy Quran in mosques must be upheld;  education and lectures are to continue remotely.

Worshippers should take all the precautionary measures, from wearing a face mask to bringing their own praying carpets with them, doing ablutions at home and keeping a safe distance from others when leaving or entering the mosque.

Children under the age of 15 are not allowed to come to the mosque.

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