Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre reopens after 2-month virus closure

Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopens 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 the coronavirus, but clerics maintained prayers inside the shuttered church throughout its closure.

Three Catholic nuns wearing face masks stand in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City as they await its reopening opening in Jerusalem, May 24, 2020. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)

Church authorities are limiting entrance to 50 people at a time, and require 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.

— AP

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