For a month now, travel to the Holy Land has finally resumed , and with them pilgrimages to this region. Tourists now arrive in large numbers every day and can visit the Holy Places and pray on the sites that have hosted episodes from the life of the Lord Jesus.
Journeys to the Holy Land
There is a long history behind the itineraries – tourist or not – to the Holy Land. There have been numerous origins of men and women who have gone to the Holy Places, numerous their purposes. Pilgrims, men of arms, saints, nobles… along the course of the Christian age there have been many who want to visit these lands chosen by the God of Israel.
It is a dating tradition of attention, affection, love and passion, even destructive, which through the centuries has united men and women of all backgrounds.
With the spread of Sars-Cov-2 and the Covid-19 pandemic, Israel sealed its borders, and it was impossible to travel to the Holy Land for a long period of time. From March 2020 until the last days of October 2021, in fact, tourists could no longer enter the Jewish state for reasons related to the health situation.
With the beginning of November 2021, Israel made some timid reopening, thanks to vaccination coverage, which had spread abundantly throughout the country and in the world. This situation, however, was destined to last a short time; with the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus, the health authorities of the Jewish State have again raised the alert level, making travel to the Holy Land very problematic and closing, in fact, a second time, to tourism.
This, as we have reported several times, has resulted in a catastrophe for some areas of the region, which live on tourism, Bethlehem above all. Entire households have seen their incomes plummet, and for two consecutive years the first source of their income has been reduced to nothing.
Journeys to the Holy Land today
On January 9, the Israeli government tried a second time to reopen to tourism, and to date the health situation has not changed this decision. Trips to the Holy Land have resumed, and with them a good number of tourists have been able to return to attend the Holy Places.
Today, certain requirements are required to enter Israel through Tel Aviv Airport. Complete (and up-to-date) information can always be viewed on the website of the Israeli Ministry of Health.
To follow, therefore, the requirements for entry into Israel.
The requirements for travel to the Holy Land
The Jewish State of Israel requires four factors to allow entry:
1. Travellers shall be in possession of a certificate of recovery or completion of the vaccination course issued less than six months ago.
2. Travellers must perform a molecular swab (PCR) for Covid-19 within 72 hours prior to departure, and must have received a negative result. Alternatively, a rapid antigen test can be performed in the previous 24 hours. The outcome must obviously be negative to allow the departure.
3. Travelers must complete the Entry Statement Form within 48 hours prior to departure. It is strongly recommended not to fill it out in the moments immediately before the trip, but to proceed with some advance.
4. Travelers must undergo a molecular swab for Covid-19 infection upon arrival in Tel Aviv and undergo quarantine. They must then wait for the negative outcome before they can get out of isolation. The quarantine must be carried out in a location that is declared by the traveler within the Entry Form.
Our Jerusalem Guesthouse
In the Holy City of Jerusalem, destination of numerous trips to the Holy Land, our Association runs a Guesthouse for the hospitality of pilgrims and sustainable tourism, the Dar Mamilla Guesthouse. Activities of knowledge of the territory and local production activities are promoted and the proceeds of the Guesthouse are destined to support welfare realities, such as the convent of the Sisters of Charity of San Vincenzo de ‘Paoli, in which thirty people with disabilities are hosted.
Clara Borio, who manages the Guesthouse in Dar Mamilla told us that, with the resumption of trips to the Holy Land, the structure is ready to welcome pilgrims and visitors, and to transport them in the colors and flavors of Palestine. “It will be like a breath of oxygen,” he told us, “both for tourists, who will know a corner of paradise, and for the local community, especially for young people. Dar Mamilla employs twenty-two very young tour guides and allows Palestinians in the West Bank, often forced to immobility, to meet people from outside”.
We are waiting for you!