Bahrain’s Jaffaria Waqf Directorate has issued regulations and protocols to be implemented during the upcoming Ashura season being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the body.
The new protocols come in accordance with the instructions issued by the island Kingdom’s Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and the recommendations of the national taskforce to address the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s Ashura season will be marked by livestreams of Hussaini majlises and limited to the presence of administrative staff at the premises while maintaining and following precautionary measures like the wearing of facemasks and social distancing.
Bahrain’s Jaffaria Waqf officials said they will be launching a special app in coordination with the Kingdom’s health ministry to record the names of Maatams staff administrators, preachers and the broadcast staff members who will be livestreaming the ceremonies.
The Maatam director, the preacher, and the broadcast staff to ensure their safety and check them in advance, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
Jaffaria Waqf Directorate stressed that women’s Maatams and majlises will not be allowed at homes this season, and that Ashura should be marked individually or within the same family living within the same house.
This year’s Ashura will be start from the evening of August 28 and last until the next night. The holy day is marked each year on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram. Millions typically visit Mashad’s Imam Reza shrine, which is Iran’s largest Shia religious complex.
Bahrain last month said it will continue its suspension of prayers in mosques until it has managed to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. The country previously suspended communal prayers in mosques on March 23 in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.