Church of the Holy Sepulchre to reopen Sunday for first time in two months
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Church of the Holy Sepulchre to reopen Sunday for first time in two months

Leaders of denominations sharing site, where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, say worshipers must wear masks, socially distance and not kiss stones

A Christian worshiper stands at the closed door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed by many Christians to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem, April 10, 2020 (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
A Christian worshiper stands at the closed door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed by many Christians to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem, April 10, 2020 (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem will open on Sunday for the first time in two months.

It is built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

Leaders of the three denominations sharing the site said in a statement Saturday that entrance will be limited to 50 people at a time.

Worshipers cannot enter if they have symptoms and must wear face masks and should keep a distance of 2 meters (six feet). They should also avoid touching or kissing stones and other objects at the holy site.

Jerusalem Municipality employees disinfect the forecourt outside the closed gate of Church of the Holy Sepulchre as a measure against the spread of coronavirus on March 30 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The church was closed in March along with most other sites in the Holy Land, in keeping with strict measures imposed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority to contain the outbreak.

It remained closed throughout Holy Week and Easter last month, when Jerusalem’s Old City is normally packed with tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists. Priests observed Holy Week rituals in small groups, mostly behind closed doors.

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