The iconic Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, was ordered to be shut down on Thursday. Additionally, foreign tourists were banned from hotels in Judea and Samaria after four suspected coronavirus cases were discovered in the ancient city reports Ynet.
The decision was announced by the Palestinian Authority’s tourism ministry. The move is expected to put a dent in the Biblical city’s economy, which is by and large dependent on Christian tourists visiting the church.
The Latin Patriarchate of the Holy Land said the Church of the Nativity, which was initially founded in 339 and refurbished and expanded over the centuries, will be shut down for two weeks, as well as other churches and mosques in the greater Bethlehem area.
The ban on foreign guests at hotels in Judea and Samaria will last two weeks as well, the tourism ministry said.