Statement regarding the reopening of the Basilica of Nativity
Following the evolvement of the situation in the Holy Land, we the Heads of the Three Communities, custodians of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, wish to inform that starting on May 26th this Holy Place will be accessible again to the faithful for visits and prayer.
For safety reasons and in order to avoid the risk of a new spread of the COVID-19 infection, at the beginning the number will be limited (to 50 persons) and the Basilica will be accessible only to those who have no fever or symptoms of infection and are wearing suitable face coverings.
It will also be necessary to keep a minimal distance of 2 meters between each person and to avoid any act of devotion that might include physical contact such as touching and kissing the stones, icons, vestments and the personnel in the Basilica; as well as abide always by the given instructions.
From this Holy Place, we continue our prayers, asking for the end of this pandemic.
Bethlehem, 25 May 2020
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
FR. FRANCESCO PATTON
Custos of the Holy Land
ABP. NOURHAN MANOUGIAN
Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem