Enclosed prayer places at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque have been shut in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus, the authority responsible for overseeing the city’s Islamic and Christian holy sites announced on Sunday.

“The Islamic Waqf Department decided to close the enclosed prayer places as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, the director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, said in a statement.

“All prayers will be held in the [outdoor] courtyard and all doors will remain open to worshipers,” he said.

Al-Aqsa compound consists of several enclosed prayer places, including the Dome of the

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