Mosques to increase capacity to 75%; bookings no longer needed for second Friday prayer session

More Muslims will be able to join congregational prayers in mosques here from next Friday. PHOTO: MUIS

SINGAPORE - More Muslims will soon be able to join congregational prayers in mosques here as capacity limits are raised in line with Singapore's easing of Covid-19 rules.

From next Friday (April 1), capacity will be raised from the current 50 per cent to 75 per cent, and online bookings will be scrapped for the second session of Friday prayers, said Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) chief executive Kadir Maideen on Friday (March 25).

Speaking to reporters at the Masjid Kassim in Changi, Mr Kadir said online bookings will no longer be necessary for the second of two available sessions for prayers, provided the mosque is not at its capacity.

"We hope we can continue to safely welcome more congregants back to our mosques, especially as we are nearing the holy month of Ramadan," he added.

During the fasting month of Ramadan which starts on April 2, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, and some perform nightly Terawih prayers in mosques.

Plans for Ramadan are being approached "phase by phase" and will be announced in due course, said Mr Kadir.

His comments come after the authorities announced that the capacity limit for larger events and settings involving more than 1,000 people will be raised to 75 per cent.

There is no capacity cap on smaller events and settings involving up to 1,000 people.

Muslims like student Khayri Irfan, 19, welcomed the news of the increased capacity in mosques.

He said: "This is a good first step to see if we can progress to a further loosening of measures. If this works out, I hope it can be better in the future."

On Friday, Mr Kadir also thanked mosque staff and volunteers for their efforts in ensuring mosque operations remained smooth during the various adjustments over the past two years due to the Covid-19 situation.

"I extend my deepest appreciation to them because they've put in lots of work tirelessly... making changes as and when they came in and helping to keep our congregants safe."

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