5 May 2021
1. Singapore has seen an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, as well as the emergence of new community clusters. The Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) recently announced moves to reduce the level of interactions in the community and to break the chain of transmission. As a nation, it is important that we come together and take steps to continue keeping the rates of infection low.
2. Muslims in Singapore have been observing Ramadan activities at mosques responsibly with personal practices such as enhanced hygiene, bringing personal prayer items, wearing masks and liming social interactions. At mosques, prayers and other activities are conducted with safe distancing, shortened duration, enhanced cleaning regimens, separate entrances and exits, as well as adoption of Trace Together for contact tracing. With the heightened alert measures announced by the (MTF) on 4th May 2021, Muis will be putting in place further precautionary measures, consistent with the national advisory for all places of worship.
Tightening Measures for Congregational Prayer and Religious Activities
3. MTF has announced that congregational and other worship services must implement pre-event testing for services involving more than 100 and up to 250 attendees at any one time. Muis will study the feasibility of implementing the pre-event testing procedures at our mosques, given the cost and operational considerations involved, to allow for larger congregational prayers (i.e. up to 250 spaces).
4. In the meantime, beginning 8 May 2021, the number of congregants allowed at mosque for each congregational prayer session will be scaled back to 100 persons, with all mosques offering only up to two zones of 50 persons each. This reduced number will be the maximum number allowed per session for daily congregational prayer, Friday prayer, as well as Hari Raya Aidilfitri prayer. We will continue to offer spaces for female congregants at some mosques, bearing in mind the reduced space limits.
5. This limit of 100 persons will also apply for the remaining tarawih and qiyam sessions in Ramadan from 8 May onwards. Muis will retain existing bookings made within Zone 1 and Zone 2 at mosques. Existing bookings for other zones (Zone 3 to Zone 5, depending on mosques capacity) will be made void automatically. Muis will issue emails to those whose tarawih and qiyam bookings are cancelled. Congregants may also check the validity of their bookings here.
6. These details, as well as changes to the number of available places will be reflected in the online mosque booking system from 7 May 2021.
Other Non-Worship Services
7. The weekly face to face aLIVE classes for children, ADIL lectures and kuliahs in mosques will be temporarily suspended and shifted to online and home-based learning mode from 8 May 2021.
8. In-person marriage solemnisation and jenazah prayer services at mosques will be allowed to continue, but according to the revised guidelines issued by MOH here.
9. Selected mosques will continue to offer Zakat payment services for the remaining days of Ramadan, but only on an appointment basis. However, with the ongoing risk of community transmission, we encourage the public to fulfil their zakat obligation at zakat.sg as well as to continue donating to mosques via OurMasjid.SG.
10. Social development officers and the network of mosque befrienders will continue to reach out to families on long-term zakat financial assistance. Zakat financial assistance will remain available at the 31 Social Development Mosques island wide, but with limited face-to-face engagement.
TraceTogether-only Safe Entry (TT-only SE) brought forward to 17 May 2021
11. All mosques will be bringing forward the implementation of TT-only SE to 17 May 2021. The TraceTogether App or Token is required for SafeEntry check-ins. The scanning of SE-QR codes with the phone camera and SingPass App will be discontinued. To ease the transition, ID check-ins will be retained until 31 May 2021.
12. Reflecting on the enhanced measures, Mr Esa Masood, Muis Chief Executive said: "The last few days of Ramadan are spiritually very important time for the Muslim community and we seek the support and understanding of congregants who are inconvenienced by these changes. We have made important sacrifices last year, and hope that these further sacrifices will go a long way in protecting the community and our loved ones from the virus. It is important not to be disheartened and we urge the community to continue their ibadah at home with their families during the last few days of Ramadan, and these acts of worship too will be rewarded generously. We seek the support and understanding of congregants visiting the mosque to continue to abide by the necessary measures and give your full support to our mosques staff and volunteers, who have been working dedicatedly to keep our mosques safe."
13. In addition, with the reduced number of spaces available for Friday prayer, we seek the community’s understanding that they are likely to have to wait longer in order to secure a slot for Friday prayer at the mosque. As mentioned, Muis is studying how the pre-event testing requirements can be applied to enable us to safely offer more prayer spaces. We will also continue to monitor and make adjustments to safety measures in tandem with the national advisories and the overall COVID-19 situation.
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA