Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have shut the mosques against Muslims intending to use it for prayer during the Eid-Ul-Fitr festival over COVID-19 spread.
They asked the population to adhere to safety guidelines to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Eid, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, may come up today or tomorrow in the Gulf region.
The Saudi Press Agency said the Islamic Affairs Minister, Abdullatif al-Sheikh, gave instructions not to have Eid prayers in mosques.
“Muslims will hold the Eid prayer at home because of the pandemic,” it quoted Sheikh Abdul Bari al-Thubaiti, the prayer leader, of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, as saying.
During Ramadan, prayers without worshippers were held by Imams in the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina, in the west of the kingdom.
In the UAE, the Dubai government’s media office said on Twitter that mosques will remain closed and listed a series of Eid customs that should not be observed, including family visits and giving gifts or money to children.