Eid celebrations subdued in Bahrain amid warnings

Commercial and industrial businesses have been allowed to continue operations under strict guidelines


Bahrain yesterday celebrated Eid Al Fitr amidst strict health and safety guidelines as the country is fighting to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

While shoppers could be seen in malls and other outlets during the weekend after authorities announced that businesses and shopping malls would remain open during the Eid Al Fitr holiday, people largely heeded warnings against large gatherings with family and friends.

Precautionary measures included limiting Eid gatherings to the immediate family in a household, maintaining social distancing and avoiding visiting relatives and friends over the holiday.

“I miss the family gathering, and seeing children in their traditional clothes knocking on neighbours’ doors asking for an Eid gift,” said Bahraini Mohammed Khalid Ateeq.

“But this Eid also made us count our blessings and brought family members closer.

“Our plans for this year’s Eid was to wake up early, get dressed and do a video call with the family on Zoom, give donations to different charities and engage in indoor competitions and treasure hunting.”

Expatriate non-Muslims also missed a “proper” Eid celebration, they noted.

“Eid definitely lost its shine this year because there are fewer people seen outside unlike the years gone by when the roads and shops would be crowded,” said an Indian man who lives in Mahooz.

“We used to complain about the traffic on the roads, now we miss that.

“We pray things get back to normal soon.”

Yet another family shared similar sentiments.

“We respect the guidelines, which we believe is for our own good and we have decided to spend a quiet Eid at home as a family,” said Nazreen Shaikh, an Indian resident in Juffair.

“But indeed we miss the Eid feel, for Eid was always joining as families and visiting friends.”

The GDN reported on Saturday that commercial and industrial businesses have been allowed to continue operations under strict guidelines, while all non-essential medical services have resumed operations.

Under the new measures, outdoor cinemas will be allowed to set up in the country, professional athletes have been allowed to resume training in outdoor spaces and swimming pools, and, as of Wednesday, all salons and barber shops will reopen.

Bahrain has been witnessing an increase in daily coronavirus cases in the last couple of weeks, from an average of 60 cases a day to an average of 200 cases a day.

However, the numbers have been more than 300 in the last two days.

Under the new measures, sports facilities, gyms, movie theatres, sheesha cafés and educational institutions will remain closed until further notice, while restaurants will continue to be limited to take-out and delivery services.

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