Congregants urged to follow guidelines

James Kon

Muslims who registered and booked a slot for the Friday prayers today were reminded to start their travels early, and to bring their own face mask and a large prayer mat, failing which they will be prohibited from entering the mosque.

Acting Assistant Director of Mosque Affairs at the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) Pengiran Haji Haslin bin Pengiran Haji Ali made this statement in an interview at Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah yesterday.

“May 29, 2020 is the first day that Friday prayers will be allowed for the public after mosques were forced to temporarily close in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Preparations for the re-opening of the mosques for Friday prayers have been carried out with the cooperation of the public and the support of the Royal Brunei Police Force, Royal Brunei Armed Forces, youth volunteers and mosque officials. We hope the Friday prayers will run smoothly in accordance to the guidelines and advice from the Ministry of Health (MoH),” he said.

“The public will need to follow the instructions on the entry points to the mosque. Officials will be tasked with looking after the public, ensuring they enter the mosque systematically through designated pathways.”

“Mass Friday prayers will be done with social distancing. Although the spacing arrangement for each individual to perform the prayers is already marked, volunteers will still guide congregants.”

“This is the requirement. If an individual does not bring these (face mask and prayer mat), they will not be allowed in despite having booked a slot, because the mosques will not provide those items,” he said.

For those who have booked a slot at a particular mosque, “they cannot change to another mosque at the last minute,” he added.