Germany: Mosques preparing to reopen next weekend

2nd May 2020
Germany: Mosques preparing to reopen next weekend

BERLIN (AA): Mosques in Germany will reopen their doors to worshippers next weekend, following a government decision to ease coronavirus restrictions in the country.

Germany’s Muslim Coordination Council (KRM) has announced on Friday that most of the mosques will reopen on or after May 9, but prayer services will be held with fewer attendees and under certain conditions.

Muslims will be able to perform their dawn, midday and late afternoon prayers in most of the mosques, but communal gatherings for Friday prayers, or special night prayers (Tarawih) performed during the holy month of Ramadan, will continue to remain suspended.

Worshippers will be asked to maintain social distancing, wear face masks and to bring their own rugs to pray at mosques to minimize the risk of infection.

The German government decided on Thursday to lift a number of coronavirus lockdown measures, and allowed prayer services at mosques, churches and synagogues provided that they comply with hygiene and social distancing requirements.

The country has the sixth-highest number of reported novel coronavirus cases in the world, but it has managed to slow the virus’s spread in recent weeks, thanks to strict lockdown measures put in place in March.

Daily new COVID-19 infections have been slowing and remained below 2,000 for a sixth consecutive day on Friday.

Since April 12, the country has had more people who recovered from the virus than active cases.

The Robert Koch Institute reported 126,900 recoveries as of Friday compared to 33,858 current COVID-19 infections.

Germany’s death toll reached 6,481 according to the institute, which uses official data submitted by federal states.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

Over 3.27 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll nearing 234,000 and more than 1 million recoveries, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

[Photo: Children play at a park as playgrounds and parks are reopened in Berlin, Germany on May 01, 2020. Photographer: Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/AA]

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