Morocco bans Eid al-Fitr prayers over COVID concerns
London, May 12, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Morocco will not celebrate Eid al-Fitr prayers in mosques due the COVID-19 crisis, the country’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced
The ministry said the ban is part of Morocco’s continued vigilance to limit the spread of COVID-19. It said Eid prayers will be banned both in mosques and musallah-open spaces outside mosques.
According to the statement, the decision is due to the difficulty in providing optimal conditions for social distancing in mosques.
Eid al-Fitr is expected to take place in Morocco on Thursday, May 13, according to astronomy calculations.
Many Arab countries have announced Thursday as the first day of Eid al-Fitr, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, among others.
Unlike Morocco, many countries have said they will allow Eid prayers under strict conditions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Morocco has been taking proactive measures as part of its precautionary approach against the pandemic.
The North African country also banned Eid al-Fitr prayers in 2020 as part of its COVID-19 state of emergency.
This year, Morocco allowed daily prayers in mosques until sunset. Due to a night curfew, citizens perform Taraweeh (extra evening prayers performed during Ramadan) and evening prayers at home.
Morocco has recorded fewer COVID-19 cases in recent days, but officials warn against laxity that could worsen the situation again.
The number of COVID-19 cases reached 514, 164, including 501,404 recoveries, and 9,083 deaths.
With its ongoing vaccination campaign, Morocco is also intensifying efforts to reach herd immunity by the end of 2022 by vaccinating as many as 33 million people (80 % of Morocco’s population).
As of May 11, Morocco has vaccinated 5, 903, 593 with the first dose, while approximately 4,414,056 people have received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.