SHAH ALAM: Selangor and Kedah will allow Muslims to perform congregational prayers without having to maintain physical distancing from April 1 onwards.

For Selangor, the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has given his consent for congregational prayers without physical distancing to be performed in mosques and surau statewide effective April 1.

Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director Datuk Mohd Shahzihan Ahmad said the decision was made after His Highness held talks with several state government agencies and members of the Selangor Royal Council.

“His Highness has done the research and refined several important matters, especially the steps that need to be taken to avoid the effects of Covid-19 besides ensuring that the well-being of the people is protected and mosques and surau continue to function as centres of worship for Muslims.

“His Highness also consented for the terawih to be performed up to 20 rak’ah during the month of Ramadan this year in all mosques and surau in the state,” he said in a statement here yesterday, reported Bernama.

Mohd Shahzihan said the congregants were required to follow certain regulations, one of it being only fully vaccinated individuals would be allowed to pray at the mosque or surau.

“Individuals aged 18 and below who have completed their vaccination are allowed to attend prayers at mosques and surau apart from having to bring a prayer mat and to wear a face mask.

“Those with symptoms are asked not to attend any activities at mosques and surau in order to maintain the well-being of other congregants,” he said.

He said that Sultan Sharafuddin also expressed concern over the high number of Covid-19 cases in Selangor and advised the people in the state to remain vigilant and adhere to standard operating procedure and instructions issued by the authorities from time to time.

In Alor Setar, Kedah Islamic Religious Affairs Department (JHEAIK) director Datuk Mohd Yusri Md Daud said prayers in congregation are allowed at all mosques and surau in the state without having to maintain a physical distance beginning April 1.

In a statement, he said the permission was granted in line with the transition to the endemic phase and this would take effect statewide as Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah, has consented to the date, reported Bernama.

He said congregants are still required to wear face masks, register their attendance using the MySejahtera app and bring their own prayer mats. Only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed into the premises.

“They are not allowed to gather, sleep or have physical contact or shake hands with one another after performing their prayers,” he added.

Meanwhile in MELAKA, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said beginning April 1, the physical distancing requirement for congregational prayers at all mosques and surau in the state would be according to the size of the prayer mat, reported Bernama.

“Physical distancing is still maintained but the rows are much closer than the earlier one-metre requirement,” he told reporters yesterday.