While Ramadan centres on Ibadah (act of worship) and the coming together of Muslim brothers and sisters for Suhoor and Iftar, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in matters being a slight bit different this time around. The Holy month commences on April 13, 2020. Ahead of breaking the first fast, authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have outlined a series of guidelines, in line with precautionary measures that need to be followed in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In this regard, the Ras Al Khaimah Police has issued safety measures for residents to adhere to during the course of the month.
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For starters, the distribution of Iftar meals inside or in front of restaurants has been banned. Additionally, Iftar tents outside mosques are not allowed either. Meals cannot be circulated outside homes either, and distribution of food is only limited to residential complexes. However, the meals should be tightly sealed in bags or boxes.
Moreover, selling at restaurants to public is strictly restricted to regular meals, by following all precautionary and preventative steps. Attention should be paid by all eateries in regards to hygiene, safety and health of cookers and service providers, and their commitment to wearing masks and gloves at all times. The police have warned that gatherings are not allowed and residents have to maintain a two-metre distance while wearing face masks.
Dr. Seif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority revealed that Taraweeh, the special prayers offered Ramadan, will be carried out in mosques across the UAE. However, the maximum duration of the Taraweeh and Isha prayer has been capped at 30 minutes. The authorities noted all measures announced are subject to change based on the global and local health situation, and the number of Covid-19 cases in the country. The elderly and individuals with underlying conditions are requested to avoid gatherings of any kind, for the sake of their own safety.
In conclusion, extensive inspections will be carried out during the entire month of Ramdan, and those found violating SOPs will be penalized.