Israel has partially reopened its airport to foreign arrivals, but only those granted special exemptions. Tourism remains off-limits – and that includes religious pilgrimages, important to life in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Now in the run-up to Easter, the doors of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre have officially opened again. The church, situated in Jerusalem’s Old City, is the site where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, entombed and resurrected.
And with a limited number of pilgrims allowed to enter the church, nearby shops are struggling and merchants say 95 per cent of their business has disappeared due to precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Now there is hope among priests and shopkeepers that a vaccine-driven return to international travel will soon materialise.
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