As Easter and Passover Approach, the Holy Land’s Coronavirus Lockdown Begins
NAZARETH—So far, 58 Israelis have been diagnosed with the coronavirus illness, but close to 400,000 out of Israel’s 9 million citizens are affected by the new quarantine imposed to fight it, and as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new strictures on all arrivals, no matter from where, only a few hardy tourists remained in Nazareth, this biblical city in the heart of the Galilee.
As of Monday, all Israeli citizens and residents returning to the country must enter 14 days of home quarantine. And as of Thursday, foreigners arriving in Israel will have to prove that they can quarantine themselves under the same conditions–not in hotels or in Airbnbs–or be sent back to their airport of origin.
The manager of Nazareth’s Fauzi Azar Inn joked that he was being compensated for lost tourist revenue by the tourists stuck in town with nowhere to go. Air France, Swiss, and Lufthansa have all stopped flying in and out of Israel, at least until the end of March. Turkish Airlines is still flying, but U.S. carriers are expected to follow the European lead.