RAMALLAH, West Financial institution (AP) — The Palestinian Well being Ministry has advisable strict limits on Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem this 12 months as a result of coronavirus outbreak.
Celebrations within the biblical city revered by Christians as Jesus’ birthplace are normally attended by 1000’s of individuals from all over the world.
However this 12 months, the ministry has advisable the upcoming Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Manger Sq. be restricted to 50 individuals, with the lights of the tree and space eating places closed at 9 p.m. all through the Christmas season. In its suggestions Saturday, it mentioned non secular providers on Christmas Eve must also have restricted attendance.
Bethlehem’s financial system, stuffed with motels, present retailers and eating places, depends closely on the Christmas season. The cancellation or scaling again of the celebrations will deal one other blow to an financial system that already has been hit onerous by the coronavirus disaster this 12 months.
Palestinian officers are anticipated to make a closing resolution on Christmas celebrations within the coming days. Israel’s worldwide airport — the principle entry level for international vacationers — has been closed to vacationers for months, limiting the potential numbers of pilgrims in any case.
The West Financial institution is within the midst of a spike in coronavirus circumstances, whereas Israel is simply slowly rising from a lockdown imposed in September to manage a raging outbreak. The northern Israeli city of Nazareth, revered by Christians because the place of Jesus’ childhood, has been designated a “restricted” zone by authorities, limiting motion out and in of the realm for at the very least the subsequent few days.
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