Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Endowments has issued the guidelines under which funeral prayers can resume on 21 September, following their suspension earlier this year to curb the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The ministry said that funeral prayer must not exceed 15 minutes, with all attendees required to leave immediately after the funeral prayer ends.
Funeral prayers will also not be allowed at the times reserved for normal daily prayers or Friday prayer, and ablution facilities will remain closed. All attendees are required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing measures.
If the funeral prayer is held at a mosque, relatives of the deceased must place a plastic sheet under the coffin. If the prayers are held in a mosque’s outer yard, attendees are required to wear face masks whilst adhering to social distancing.
Last week, the government issued a decision for that allowed the resumption of funeral prayers at mosques with outdoor yards, as well as the resumption of outdoor wedding ceremonies and cultural events starting from 21 September.
Wedding ceremonies will be allowed at open air venues in tourist and hotel facilities that have received health and safety certificates, with a maximum of 300 people. Conferences will be allowed at the same facilities, with no more than 150 participants.
Cultural exhibitions will be also allowed in open air areas, at a maximum capacity of 50% whilst undertaking all precautionary measures.
In March, Egypt announced a partial curfew and the closure of all churches and mosques, and halted weddings and funerals, among other measures amid efforts to curb the coronavirus.
These restrictions were lifted nationwide, on 27 June, alongside the lifting of a night-time curfew. The government introduced a cautious plan for reopening the country, in their place, as part of measures to coexist with the pandemic.
On Sunday, Egypt’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 102,015, with 5,770 deaths and 89,532 recoveries.