The government has asked the Muslim devotees not to arrange iftar gatherings and sehri in mosques during Ramadan to contain the recent surge in Covid-19 infections.
The religious affairs ministry on Monday issued new directives in this connection.
The guidelines also include instructions on praying in congregations at mosques. "The devotees must come to mosques after performing their ablution and Sunnah prayers at home. If they do not do so, they must wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds while performing ablution at mosques," it read.
Also read: Govt reschedules office timing for Ramadan
The ministry said the worshippers, who visit mosques to pray in congregation, must arrive there wearing masks.
Mosque management committees must ensure the availability of handwashing facilities – sanitisers and soap water – at the entrance.
They have also been asked not to use carpets and clean the mosques with disinfectants before the five daily prayers.
"The devotees must bring their prayer mats. Social distancing must be ensured while they stand for prayers" the ministry said. "Children, elderly, sick people and attendants to the ill must not attend congregations."
Also read: Wear masks at mosques: Islamic Foundation
Also, the ministry asked local administration, law enforcement, khatib, imam and mosque committees to ensure the implementation of the said directives.
Local administration and law enforcement will take legal steps if anyone violates the instructions, the ministry said.
In the wake of Covid-19 infections and fatalities, the government imposed a seven-day lockdown from Monday.
Most of the transport services would remain suspended while the office work would continue on a limited scale.
On March 28, the Saudi government announced that there would be no iftar gatherings or Aitekaf at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah during Ramadan.