The London Muslims COVID19 Task Force - a collaboration of London's Muslim institutions, with members from the medical profession, met to discuss the evolving situation with COVID-19.
The group has made consensus recommendations which will be outlined below, based upon the following information:
- As of today, there have been 4 positive cases in London - the first having recovered and the other 3 in self-isolation. Three of the four cases are travel related (China, Las Vegas and the Caribbean).
- The federal government has closed the border for non-citizens, excluding some North/Central American countries.
- The Ontario government has enacted a state of emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act;
- One result of this decision makes it illegal to have a public gathering - indoors or outdoors - of greater than 50 people;
- Local Health Authorities have advised of rules for places of worship - active screening at the entrance, restrictions on who can come in and keeping a distance of 2 meters away from others;
- Local Health Authorities have confirmed that the virus can spread during prayer if there are droplets on the floor and a person is doing sujud;
- We can expect regulations and rules to get tighter in the next few days/weeks, not looser.
Therefore, the Task Force is advising as follows, effective immediately:
- All prayers at Mosques should be temporarily suspended, including daily prayers and Jummah;
- Janazza prayers should take place outdoors, at the cemetery, and attendance shall not be greater than 50 people;
- People are asked to pray with their families on Friday, praying the four Rakats as required for Dhuhr, even if a person(s) listens to a Khutbah online.
The Task Force will be meeting again soon to decide:
- How khutbahs/halaqas and other services can be provided in different ways;
- What, if any, considerations need to be addressed for the upcoming month of Ramadan.
The Task Force asks all brothers and sisters to remain calm, not panic and make decisions based on evidence. The Task Force reminds all Muslims that in various points in history, Muslims have been tested, and it is up to us to continue to have faith, help others in need and not waiver from our faith in order to pass this test. This means that while Mosques are effectively closed for services, it is up to each Muslim to do things in their daily lives to increase their connection to Allah (SWT).
May Allah (SWT) grant us the strength to get through this adversity and may He have mercy on those who have been afflicted with this virus.
InshaAllah, we will report to you with any new recommendations/advice as things evolve and we appreciate your patience as we work through this fast changing situation.
The London Muslims COVID-19 Task Force
Last update on Monday, March 23, 2020