Postpone trips to the Holy Land until further notice: DFA


Posted at Mar 07 2020 04:43 AM

Postpone trips to the Holy Land until further notice: DFA 1
Palestinian police officers stand guard outside the Church of the Nativity that was closed as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank March 6, 2020. Mussa Qawasma, Reuters

Filipinos should postpone trips for pilgrimage to the Holy Land until further notice amid the spread of the new coronavirus, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.

This after Palestinian authorities decided to temporarily ban entry of all tourists into the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Jericho. They also decided to restrict all travel to Bethlehem. 

“Prospective travelers are therefore advised to coordinate with their tour operators to avoid any inconvenience,” the DFA said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh earlier announced a 30-day lock down to the Holy Land, saying the measures were essential to contain the disease. 

A month-long state of emergency was declared by the government after the seven cases were identified, while the Israeli defense ministry said it had imposed emergency measures on Bethlehem, with everybody "forbidden from entering or leaving the city."

The Palestinian health ministry said that those infected are now being treated in quarantine.

-With reports from Agence France-Presse