Individuals going for prayers in mosques, are no longer required to bring their own mats effective today while foreigners will be allowed to join mosque congregational prayers from Sept 1, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Ismail Sabri said the relaxation on bringing mat took into consideration the complaints by people who were turned away for forgetting to bring their own mats.

“I would like to thank mosque imams and committees for being stern in ensuring full compliance to the SOP (standard operating procedure).

“The Special Ministerial Meeting today agreed to ease the requirement on bringing prayer mat with immediate effect but the use of mat is encouraged while putting on face mask is still compulsory,” he told a media conference on the development of Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) at Parliament Building here today.

Ismail Sabri said mosque committees are also allowed to sell three-layered face masks to members of the congregation at the price set by the government.

Mosques can also provide disposable paper liner to replace mat.

Apart from that, Ismail Sabri said the special meeting also agreed to allow foreigners to perform prayers in mosques from Sept 1.

They are however required to adhere to the stipulated SOP including registering before being allowed into the premises.

“The approval is subject to the permitted capacity and physical distancing requirement by the mosque management,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government also approved the sign-on and sign-off SOP for oil and gas rig workers.

The sign-on process for Malaysians required them to take a swab test before being allowed into the oil rig. However, non-citizen workers have to undergo screening test as well as the 14-day quarantine before entering the oil rig.

In the sign-off process from the oil rig to the mainland, both Malaysians and foreigners only need to take the screening test and are not required to undergo the compulsory quarantine.

In this regard, he said the government agreed to allow non-citizen couples and their children who do not hold long-term social visit pass to enter Malaysia.

Nonetheless, they are required to apply for the pass upon arrival in Malaysia while permanent residents are allowed to enter without making prior application,” he said.

Ismail Sabri added that the government also agreed to allow Malaysians to go overseas in emergency cases such as visiting sick family members and so on.

“But they need to obtain prior permission from the Immigration Department,” he said.