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Coronavirus

Worshippers in Turkey Hold Communal Friday Prayers for the First Time in 74 Days

ANKARA, Turkey — Worshippers in Turkey have held their first communal Friday prayers in 74 days after the government reopened some mosques as part of its plans to relax measures in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Prayers were held in the courtyards of a select number of mosques on Friday, to minimize the risk of infection.

Authorities distributed masks at the entrance to the mosques, sprayed hand sanitizers, and checked temperatures for fever.

Worshippers were asked to bring their own prayer rugs, but some mosques offered disposable paper rugs which were placed 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart.

The partial opening of the mosques follows a slowdown in the confirmed COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country.

On Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to lift restrictions on movement between cities and reopen restaurants, cafes, sports centers, beaches and museums on June 1.

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