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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

COVID cabinet approves Uman travel outline ahead of Rosh Hashanah

The coronavirus cabinet approved an outline for allowing Orthodox hassidic Jews to travel to Uman, Ukraine for the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

According to the outline that was approved just after midnight on Sunday, all travelers will be required to be tested 72 hours before their flight, whether they are vaccinated or not. Similarly, returning to the country will require a coronavirus test 72 hours in advance of one’s flight.

As per the requirements for returning from any other “orange” country, travelers will be asked to fill out a quarantine form 24 hours before arriving. On arrival, they will once again test at the airport and then enter isolation for a minimum of seven days. 

JEWISH PILGRIMS pray at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman during the celebration of Rosh Hashanah in September 2017. (credit: VALENTYN OGIRENKO/REUTERS)

“We learned lessons from the mistakes made last year,” Minister of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana said last week when he first revealed the details of the plan. “The outline that has been formulated will allow travel to Uman while maintaining rules that will secure health.”

Last year, although the country approved a small number of travelers, as many as 30,000 ended up finding their way to Uman for the holiday. At the time, there was a high level of coronavirus infection in the country and the Health Ministry reported that many returnees brought the virus back from Uman with them.

There was one particular plane, for example, in which some 13 returning Israelis were diagnosed with the virus.

Concerned that an outline for travel to Uman might not be approved, thousands of Israeli yeshiva students had already left for the country. 

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

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