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Kotel re-opens with major restrictions

Worshippers at the Western Wall pray in enclosed areas meant for 10 people at a time, March 15, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM — The Western Wall Plaza reopened to worshippers on Tuesday morning, May 5.

The reopening came after the Israeli government relaxed some of its coronavirus restrictions, including canceling the restriction on joining outdoor prayer services only within 500 meters from a person’s home.

For the last few weeks, only 10 and then 19 worshippers could be at the Western Wall at any time, and only those who live in the Old City.

The plaza in front of the Western Wall will be divided into as many prayer areas as possible in accordance with government social distancing regulations, The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which operates the holy site, said in a statement.

For the next few days, up to 300 worshippers will be allowed to be in the Western Wall plaza at one time, contingent on them wearing masks. 

Once the prayer areas are full, worshippers will be required to wait outside the entrances to the Western Wall, with the required distances between them, until space becomes available, according to the statement. Reports also said that worshipers will have their temperatures taken and personal details recorded before they can enter the plaza.

The Western Wall tunnels will remain closed for the time being.



JTA

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