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Ministry annuls order imposing social distancing in prayers

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The Islamic Ministry has revoked a directive ordering congregational prayers in mosques be performed with social distancing in light of the COVID-19 situation in the Maldives.

The revocation means that congregational prayers can now be performed as usual in mosques across Male' City.

Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Zahir tweeted today that the decision to revoke the order for social distancing in prayers would come into effect from the Maghrib prayers of tonight.

The directive for social distancing in prayers was issued on March 1 due to the unstable situation with COVID-19 in the Maldives. However, the order caused controversy and disagreement among prominent Islamic scholars in the Maldives.

Due to COVID-19, congregational prayers in mosques across the capital were halted periodically in 2020. The Ministry had decided to perform the Taraweeh prayers of Ramadan with social distancing as well. However, with the new announcement by the Minister, the order will also be canceled and Taraweeh prayers will also be performed normally.