OTTAWA -- Mosques across Ottawa will be allowed to broadcast a five-minute call to prayer each evening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Ottawa has granted a new noise exemption to allow mosques to broadcast a call to prayer at sundown until May 23, in recognition of the holy month of Ramadan.

The city says the noise exemption has been permitted in recognition of Ramadan and in light of the Ontario Government’s order prohibiting the gathering of more than five people.

In a statement on Twitter, Mayor Jim Watson said “I hope this will help our Muslims friends in their observance of this sacred month of devotion and spiritual reflection. Ramadan Mubarak!”

The city and Ottawa Public Health remind residents to continue to follow health precaution recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including practicing physical distancing and washing your hands thoroughly and often.