Which Arab countries will be in lockdown this Eid?

Which Arab countries will be in lockdown this Eid?
Muslims across the Arab world are preparing for a very different Eid amid a coronavirus epidemic.
6 min read
19 May, 2020
Muslims are preparing for Eid celebrations under lockdown [Getty]

Muslims across the world will soon welcome the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, a celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The coronavirus epidemic means that Eid - usually a time of communal prayers and family feasts - will take a very different form this year, with governments across the world enforcing social distancing measures to prevent a second wave of infections.

In the Arab world, authorities have announced new lockdown measures during the holidays to prevent family visits, public prayers, and other public celebrations.

Here are the measures Muslims in the Arab world will follow during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays to prevent a new outbreak of the virus.


Authorities announced that commercial activities will be halted until 30 May, except for essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurant deliveries.

No more than two people will be allowed in cars and buses will run at half capacity, Al Jazeera reported.

Residents and nationals will also have to install the EHTERAZ app on their phones when leaving their homes, to help authorities track Covid-19 cases and inform people if they come into contact with someone with the disease.

Saudi Arabia

Saudis have been encouraged to pray from home this Eid, after a ruling by the kingdom's grand mufti.

The kingdom will be subject to a nationwide lockdown from 23rd to 27th May, after some restrictions were eased.

The curfew is aimed at preventing family visits and communal gatherings during the holidays, which might lead to the spread of Covid-19.


The UAE has issued strict warnings against communal gatherings during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, and are expected to announce more restrictions in the coming days.

So far, residents and nationals have been asked to conduct Eid Taraweeh prayers from home, avoid family visits, and use e-banking rather than cash when distributing money to children.

The night-time curfew has also been extended during the build-up to the holidays, beginning at 8pm until morning. There are also stricter fines for people flouting social distancing rules, including not wearing masks in public or holding parties.


Kuwait has announced a "total curfew" for the country during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, beginning Sunday and ending 30 May.

More details about restrictions for the holidays are expected in the coming days.


Oman's Supreme Committee on Covid-19 has announced a ban on all gatherings and public activities during the Eid holidays. 

Livestock markets will be closed, public prayers and family visits banned, and other traditional public activities restricted to prevent the spread of Covid-19.


Lockdown measures will be extended in Bahrain for another two weeks, coinciding with the Eid holidays, including the closure of public places such as restaurants and cinemas.

Muslims have also been encouraged to conduct prayers from home.


Authorities in the south will place several cities under 24-hour lockdown during the holidays, and ban religious gatherings.

Houthi authorities in the capital Sanaa have said they will close fairgrounds and parks during the Eid holidays.


Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government, which governs the autonomous northern region, announced a three-day curfew during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays.

Parts of the capital Baghdad will also be under strict lockdown for the next two weeks, after a recent rise in coronavirus cases.

There will be a 5pm to 5am curfew for other parts of Iraq during the Eid holidays with the threat of a full lockdown if the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise.


Jordanians have been subject to some of the world's strictest lockdown measures with restrictions only recently being eased by the government.

Authorities fear another outbreak of the disease during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, with officials meeting to discuss the measures that will be enforced during these days.

Commercial sectors will not be able to operate on the first day of Eid and measures will be imposed to "ensure public safety".

On the first day of Eid, there will be a ban on vehicles and with only pedestrial travel allowed betweem 8am and 7pm, and a night-time curfew enforced.

The next day, some vehicles will be permitted on the roads during the same hours, but unauthorised travel between cities will be banned.


Public prayers will be suspended during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, with people encouraged to pray from home.

Public events and venues, such as fairgrounds, will be closed and a night-time curfew enforced. 


The Lebanese government could buck the trend in the Middle East this Eid Al-Fitr by actively encouraging people to go out and spend during the build-up to holidays - and perhaps even during the festival itself.

Lebanon's economy has been hit hard by strict lockdown measures, which has seen almost all commercial activities frozen.

Authorities have been carrying out random tests on citizens to check for a spike in Covid-19 cases, and if the numbers rise then new lockdown measures will likely be announced.


The Palestinian Authority announced a four-day curfew for the West Bank during Eid Al-Fitr holidays, starting from 22 May evening.

Travel between cities and towns in the occupied territories will also be restricted, while the Al-Aqsa Mosque will remain closed.


A curfew covering the capital Khartoum will be extended for two-weeks from Tuesday, coinciding with the Eid Al-Fitr holidays.

Citizens in Khartoum will also be barred from visiting family members outside the capital.


Egypt will impose a partial curfew during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays starting from 5pm until the next morning. 

Parks, beaches, restaurants, entertainment venues and commercial centres will be closed from 24th to 29th May. 

Public transport will be temporarily suspended and travel between governorates will be banned.

Muslims have been told to conduct Taraweeh prayers from their homes.


The Libyan government announced a three-day curfew for the capital Tripoli during the Eid holidays.


Algeria will see a partial curfew continue during the Eid holidays, but authorities have rejected the idea of a nationwide lockdown. 


Tunisia announced that travel between different regions will be banned during Eid Al-Fitr. 

Public and communal gatherings that might lead to the spread of the virus have also been prohibited. 


Morocco's state of emergency - enacted at the start of the coronavirus crisis in March - was due to end for the Eid Al-Fitr holidays.

The government has now announced that the state of emergency will continue until 10 June, meaning that Eid Al-Fitr will be celebrated under lockdown.

Muslims will have to pray from home with a curfew in place from 7pm to 5am.


Mauritania's government had recently allowed mosques to re-open but then re-instated a ban on public prayers following a new spike in cases, which is likely to continue during the Eid holidays.

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