Oman allows vaccinated worshippers to attend Friday prayers

Social and sporting events to resume as country records low number of new infections

Mazoon Mosque in Mawaleh, Muscat. Saleh Al Shaibany for The National
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Friday prayers are to resume in mosques across Oman for people who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

They will be at 50 per cent capacity and worshippers must stick to safety measures to avoid spreading the virus, the country's Supreme Committee for Covid-19 said on Sunday.

"Starting from September 24, mosques will reopen for Friday prayers to those who received at least their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine," it said. "This will be until the end of September.”

Those wishing to attend the prayers are required to complete a form online.

Worshippers must bring their own prayer mats and wear a face mask at all times. A team of volunteers will be present to verify the vaccine credentials.

Mosques across the sultanate have been mostly closed since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 as part of Oman's measures to combat the virus.

They began opening five times a day for prayers on November 16, but remained closed for Friday prayers.

The committee said social and sports events will resume to those who have had their first dose of the vaccine.

Coronavirus situation 'improving'

Oman, a country of 4.7 million people, has recorded 303,309 Covid-19 cases since March 2020 and 4,092 deaths.

Health Minister, Ahmed Mohammed Al Saeedi, said the Covid-19 situation was improving after a steady decline in the number of new cases and deaths.

Twenty patients were admitted to intensive care units in Oman on Saturday, he said.

Mr Al Saeedi said that 92 per cent of Omanis have received the first dose, with 74 per cent of people fully vaccinated.

"We hope by the end of this month, 100 per cent of Omanis will have received the first dose and that, by the end of next month October, 100 per cent of Omanis and residents in the target segments will be fully vaccinated," he said.

The minister urged all residents and citizens to ensure they receive their vaccine.

Updated: September 19, 2021, 1:54 PM