Israel will allow Miss Universe contestants to travel across the border amid the covid Omicron surge, but no other foreigners.
In December, Miss Universe is still set to go ahead at Eliat, a resort in the Red Sea, after Israel announced that contestants will be allowed to travel into the country.
The country was one of the first to close its borders amid news of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, however, on Sunday, November 28, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov declared that there would be exemptions for those competing in the beauty pageant.
Among a few other precautions, Razvozov told reporters that as long as contestants took a PCR test on alternating days, they would be allowed across the Middle Eastern country’s border, xnewsnet.com reports.
This is an event that will be broadcast in 174 countries, a very important event, an event that Eilat also desperately needs.
We know how to manage this event. So using the waiver committee, we have events like this that the country is already committed to and can’t cancel.
The competition will be held on December 12, and it’s the first time that it has taken place in Israel.
Due to concerns over the Omicron variant, on the weekend, Israel blocked all travel from seven countries located in South Africa.
During a government meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated that the country must be kept ‘open internally’ by ‘squeez[ing]’ its borders.
The variant is feared to be able to spread more quickly, and possibly even be more resistant to vaccines.
Israel has so far seen two cases of the new variant, and as of November 29, six more cases of the Omicron variant were found in the UK.
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