The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, encompassing the site of Christ’s Crucifixion and holy Resurrection, was closed to parishioners and pilgrims again on Friday due to continuing coronavirus pandemic, reports the Times of Israel with reference to “multiple reports in Arab media.”
The church had been closed for two months during the first wave of the pandemic but was reopened in late May as Israel and Palestinians appeared to bring the pathogen under control. However, a new wave of mass infections has eclipsed the first on both sides of the green line in recent weeks, leading to new closures and restrictive measures as the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority try to curb the spread of the virus.
There was no assessment as to how long the church would remain closed.
The Palestinian West Bank experienced its deadliest day since the start of the pandemic on Friday, with 5 deaths and 331 new cases. Israel’s Health Ministry reported 1,684 new cases on Friday—the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic.