Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopens after two-month lockdown

24 May 2020, 17:24

The ceiling of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Israel (Victoria Jones/PA)
Travel Stock – Israel. Picture: PA

Many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, entombed, and resurrected at the site.

Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre has reopened to visitors after a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The church, situated in Jerusalem’s Old City, is the site where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, entombed, and resurrected.

The Christian authorities managing the site closed it to visitors in March to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but clerics maintained prayers inside the shuttered church throughout its closure.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopens to visitors(Mahmoud Illean/AP)
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopens to visitors (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

On Sunday, church authorities limited entrance to 50 people at a time, and required that those entering the cavernous site maintain social distance and avoid touching any of the church’s stones, icons or other religious items.

A typical day before the virus outbreak would bring thousands of faithful who kissed or placed their hands along the church’s surfaces.

As priests from the various Christian sects entered the church, a handful of faithful waited outside for the basilica’s church to open for the public.

Two nuns wear protective face masks at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre(Mahmoud Illean/AP)
Two nuns wear protective face masks at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

Israeli authorities have gradually reopened schools, houses of worship and markets as the spread of the virus has slowed.

Israel’s health ministry has reported over 16,700 confirmed cases of the disease and 279 deaths.

More than 14,000 have recovered.

By Press Association

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