CDA announces the reopening of non-Muslim places of worship, after all compilation of all procedures and precautionary measures

The Community Development Authority in Dubai (CDA) has revealed the resumption of prayers in non-Muslim houses of worship licensed by CDA, this comes after completing a series of indicative and precautionary measures that continued over weeks. Directed by CDA, The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) in Dubai and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to ensure a safe return to the practice of religious rituals and the protection and safety of community members.

CDA and in line with the gradual return plan for life after the Corona pandemic, had prepared a list of general guidelines and precautionary measures that worship houses should follow in preparation for the reopening. These included scheduling prayers on specific timing, physical distancing procedures, and comprehensive sterilization to be done by sterilization centers accredited by Dubai Municipality. A working group has also been formed from CDA and NCEMA, to implement a comprehensive campaign, including field visits to places of worship to follow the implementation of procedures and provide consultations and observations that ensure their readiness to re-open. As well as testing the clergy registered in the houses of worship licensed with CDA to ensure their safety from the “Covid 19” virus.

Dr. Omar Al Muthanna, CEO, Licensing & Monitoring Sector, CDA said that CDA worked diligently over the past weeks with the licensed houses of worship to find solutions that are appropriate to the cultures and customs of each religion, so that the re-opening of houses of worship properly maintain the health and safety of visitors and worshipers. CDA has circulated precautionary instructions that the places of worship should follow, including providing thermal detection devices, organizing the entry and exit of worshipers, and closing prayer rooms immediately after each prayer.

“Proceeding from the leadership’s keenness to restore the normal life cycle after the Corona pandemic, CDA studied cultures and behaviors in each house of worship separately and special plans were developed for each of them to ensure the possibility of a safe and gradual return to prayer”, he said.

“CDA stressed on the places of worship that it is necessary to adhere to the general regulations for reopening them, including the fact that the capacity of the house of worship does not exceed 30%, and the commitment of worshipers to bring prayer books and their other prayer tools. In addition, not to shake hands and only waving and peace remotely. We have prepared lists of the clerics registered with CDA and we have cooperated with DHA to allocate a special day in one of the medical centers to conduct a free examination for them, to confirm their safety from the virus. Additionally, we stressed on the necessity of downloading the “Al-Hosn” application for all visitors to the places of worship to follow any changes or health concerns.

“With the re-opening decision issued, 11 places of worship were able to immediately resume receiving worshipers, while three places of worship apologized for not being available at the present stage.

“On Wednesday 1st of July, we’ve seen resumption of the places of worship for the prayers of all religions in the Emirate of Dubai. We are pleased that CDA is part of an integrated system working under the guidance of wise leadership to restore the life cycle to normal and to preserve the health, safety and happiness of community members. CDA will continue to work with non-Muslim places of worship to ensure compliance with procedures is followed at every stage of gradual return”, Al Muthanna concluded.

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