Temples and churches in Muscat reopened on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, following permission by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs.
Announcing the opening, the authorities of the Shri Krishna Temple in Ruwi and Shri Shiva Temple in Muttrah listed guidelines as per instructions from the ministry.
The guidelines include entry to only a limited number of faithfuls, besides the standard preventive measures of temperature check before entry, sanitising hands, wearing face masks and maintaining set social distance. The guidelines disallowed prostration in front of idols, touching idols and distribution of prasad.
Circulars issued by the Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church Ruwi and Holy Spirit Catholic Church Ghala both announced ‘limited resumption of Holy Masses’ starting June 13.
Entry is strictly limited to those who register in advance to attend specific services. ‘A special online link created on our website (https://holyspiritchurchoman.org) allows parishioners to register their details. Every individual of ages 12 to 65 years is required to register online to gain entry into the church,’ the Holy Spirit Catholic Church Ghala announced.
Registration for services in Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church Ruwi can be done at https://massregistration.ruwiparish.org/loginmno.php
The church in Ghala called on faithfuls to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to service time, while Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church Ruwi asked parishioners to arrive 30 minutes early.
Both churches prohibited touching of images of saints, Bibles and hymn books. Additionally, there will be no choir and air conditioning during services, and footwear will not be allowed inside the church.
Both churches will follow the standard health protocols.
Churches and temples have been shut since April 3, 2021, following a decision to tackle a spike in COVID-19 infections.
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