The St. Mary's Catholic Church in Oud Metha, Dubai.


UAE churches prepare to reopen amid Covid-19 precautions


DUBAI – As hundreds of mosques and places of worship reopened on Wednesday (July 1), churches in the country were still waiting for operating policies from authorities before opening their doors to the public.

In Dubai, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Holy Trinity Church remained closed while preparations on procedures and sanitation work were underway.

The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, which governs Catholic churches in the UAE, as well as Oman and Yemen, announced that churches in the various emirates are “working closely with the Community Development Authority and other relevant government entities responsible for ensuring a safe environment for the places of worship during the pandemic.”

“Our priority remains to ensure a safe environment for our faithful…Please note that our churches will open only after the operating policies and procedures for worship places in the respective emirates are finalised and the necessary safety mechanisms are approved by the concerned authorities,” it added.

The vicariate said it is working to finalise policies and obtain necessary approvals before releasing instructions on opening hours and services.

Mosques and places of worship in the UAE were closed in March as part of precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus.

On Wednesday, more than 700 mosques in the UAE reopened with social distancing measures in place, including a maximum capacity of 30 percent and requiring mosque goers to pray one row apart and to bring their own prayer mats. ICA/Expat Media

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