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Israel to host Miss Universe contest amidst Omicron threat

Omicron posing a dark shadow above , Israel , with all travel restrictions will brave it and host the Miss Universe beauty contest on December 12 th at the Red Sea Resort of Eilat, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said on Sunday.

Israel announced on Saturday that it would prohibit foreigners from entering the country, extend quarantines for citizens and residents returning from abroad and reintroduce controversial mobile tracking to detect diseases.

Miss Universe contestants, on the other hand, will be allowed waivers while perhaps undergoing PCR testing every 48 hours and other preventive steps, Razvozov said on Sunday.

‘This is an event that will be aired in 174 countries, a very important event that Eilat, too, desperately needs,’ he told reporters ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, when ministers were expected to vote on the anti-Omicron legislation.

Sharon Alroy-Preis, a senior health ministry official, told a parliamentary committee that Israel was putting together a Miss Universe safety plan and that entry to the pageant from nations deemed to be high-risk could be limited.

According to her, Israel has confirmed one Omicron incidence in a female traveller from Malawi.

Alroy-Preis attempted to downplay the impending reintroduction of cellular tracking using Shin Bet counter-terrorism technologies. The practice, which has been criticised by privacy advocates, was mainly abandoned in May 2020.

She explained that for every verified case, tracking would be done on seven persons in order to find potential new Omicron carriers and prevent outbreaks.


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