COVID-19: Palestinians shut West Bank to tourists for 2 weeks over virus: minister

Palestinian Authority on Friday ordered hotels in the occupied West Bank to stop receiving foreign tourists after four suspected cases of the coronavirus were found in Bethlehem.

According to the reports, the two-week restriction, announced by the Palestinian Tourism Ministry, goes into effect on Friday.

According to Reuters, health officials said they were examining whether four hotel workers in Bethlehem had contracted the disease from tourists who stayed there. Police surrounded the hotel, as authorities awaited the results of laboratory tests.

Many tourists at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity on Thursday wore masks as they visited the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank under interim peace accords.

An official of the Church of Nativity in the biblical city of Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus also announced the church will close after a suspected outbreak of the coronavirus was reported.

The Palestinian health ministry called for local churches, mosques and other institutions to close after a number of suspected cases at a hotel in the Holy Land city of Bethlehem.

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