JERUSALEM, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Israel will host the Miss Universe beauty pageant in the Red Sea resort of Eilat on Dec. 12 despite lifting travel restrictions to try to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said. said on Sunday.
On Saturday Israel announced it would ban foreigners from entering the country, lengthen restrictions for citizens and residents returning from abroad and reintroduce controversial cell phone surveillance designed to track infections. . read more
However, Razvozov on Sunday said that the Miss Universe participants will receive exemptions while a PCR test is possible every 48 hours and other precautionary measures.
“This is an event that will be broadcast in 174 countries, a very important event, an event that Eilat especially needs a lot,” he told reporters before a weekly cabinet meeting, where ministers are supposed to vote on the anti-Omicron measure .
“We will know how to manage this event. Therefore, by using the council, we will have events like this, which the country has already done itself and cannot be canceled.”
In a parliamentary briefing, senior health official Sharon Alroy-Preis said that Israel is developing a security system for Miss Universe and may limit access to the pageant from countries it deems that it is high risk.
Israel has confirmed an Omicron case, it said, in a female tourist from Malawi.
Alroy-Preis came to lead the proposed innovation of cell phone tracking using technology developed by the Shin Bet terrorist organization. The practice, opposed by privacy watchers, was largely kept secret in May 2020.
In an effort to find possible new Omicron transmissions and outbreaks, tracking will be done on seven people for every confirmed case, he said.
“We’re talking about using surgery,” he said. “We are not talking about thousands of people.”
Additional reporting by Mayan Lubell Writing by Dan Williams Editing by Jeffrey Heller and David Goodman
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