The government yesterday said effective immediately, no one, except those employed by mosques, are allowed to offer daily or Juma prayers at mosques across the country.
The move was taken to contain the spread of coronavirus, says a circular.
In the circular, people were asked to offer their daily and the Juma prayers at home, instead of going to the mosques.
The government also asked people of other regions to offer prayers at home instead of congregating in their religious institutions.
Anyone violating the order will face measures as per the law, said the circular.
The religious affairs ministry yesterday finally came up with the order, saying the instruction was issued in light of the main principle of all religions and in the interest of protecting national security.
The religious affairs ministry in an urgent notice, however, said in a bid to continue Jamaat in mosques, a maximum of five mosque staff, including Imam, Muajjin, Khadem and Khatib, will be able to offer daily prayers.
In case of the Juma prayers, the number will not be more than 10.
Asked, Anis Mahmud, director general of Islamic Foundation, told The Daily Star that those 10 will have to be staffers of the mosque.
"But no outsider will be allowed to enter mosques, neither for the five-time daily prayers nor for the Juma," he also said.
"We want that people from outside or mosque staffers not to come into contact with each other and pose risk of transmission of fast-spreading coronavirus or Covid-19," he added..
No religious gatherings like waj mahfil, milad, tafsir mahfil and tabligh gathering will be allowed, said the notice.
Meanwhile, the death toll from coronavirus rose to 12 in the country, which reported three more confirmed deaths yesterday. So far, 123 people have been infected in Bangladesh, 35 in the last 24 hours alone.
In a number of cases, it was found that people are getting infected with Covid-19 after going to mosques for prayers.
In the notice, the religious affairs ministry said Saudi Arabia has stopped the entry of foreign Muslims into the Holy Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Madina Munawara temporarily following the opinions of Muslim scholars after the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.
After a cabinet meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam in a video message urged Muslims to offer namaj on Shab-e-Barat next Friday at their respective houses, instead of mosques, saying it is a nafl prayer.