Washington D.C., Mar 12, 2020 / 07:00 am
This week the Israeli government announced that, from March 12, any foreign tourist who enters the country will be placed in a 14-day quarantine to halt the spread of COVID-19. The announcement affected thousands would-be pilgrims planning to visit the Holy Land, and resulted in changed flights, and canceled trips.
Prior to the quarantine, religious sites in Bethlehem were already shut down over fears of coronavirus, leaving pilgrims already in the Holy Land unable to visit the location of the birth of Christ.
CNA spoke to several pilgrims--and would-be pilgrims--about how the closures and quarantine have affected them.
Jenna Drummond was supposed to make her first pilgrimage to Israel as part of a group of 40, sponsored by the Catholic University of America’s Institute of Human Ecology and set to travel over spring break. Just days before she was supposed to leave, she was told that the trip would not be happening.