This would be the third phase of mosques reopening in the Spanish enclave if the local Muslim federation had not decided to adopt stricter measures than those prescribed by the Spanish health ministry.
Rabat – The Islamic Commission (CIM) of the Spanish enclave of Melilla has agreed to allow Melilla’s mosques to reopen and admit up to 75% of their standard capacity starting June 8, as part of the lockdown ease policy across Spain.
The Spanish Ministry of Health previously gave mosques permission to open to accommodate 25% of their capacity on May 11 in the first phase, 50% in the second phase on May 28, and 75% in the third phase which is set to begin on June 8, according to Melilla Hoy.
However, the Muslim federation of Melilla decided it was preferable to postpone the reopening of mosques at any capacity, for health safety reasons, given the nature of Muslim prayers that are performed in large gatherings, according to the same source.
“We have considered various options … in addition to the opinion and sanitary explanation given by Dr. Muhamad, a doctor at the Comarcal Hospital De Melilla,” said the Muslim federation in a meeting gathering various Melilla Muslim organizations at the Goatherd Mosque on May 30.
“It has been unanimously decided to continue in the current situation [of closed mosques] until June 8 if the health situation allows [for their reopening],” the federation added.
The federation also pledged that its members will dedicate themselves to “the preparation and maintenance of the centers of worship” in matters such as the disinfection, sanitation, painting, and carpet cleaning of the mosques, as well as providing face masks, hydroalcoholic gels, and posters to raise awareness.
The Islamic Commission in Spain called on Muslims to perform their prayers at home after the Spanish government decided to close all mosques on March 13, part of a series of measures to prevent a major outbreak.
Morocco’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs also decided to close all mosques across the country, on March 16 until further notice, amid the mounting fears of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The ministry issued a press release on May 28 saying that any announcement regarding the reopening of mosques will be made available on its official website.
Morocco recorded 434 new COVID-19 recoveries on Monday, which is the highest daily number of recoveries since the initial COVID-19 outbreak in Morocco on March 2.