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Miss Universe 2021 to push through amid Israel's travel ban, Omicron variant

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Nov 28, 2021 6:04 pm

The 70th Miss Universe, which will be held in Eliat, Israel on Dec. 13 (Philippine time), will still push through as planned.

This is after Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement on Saturday, Nov. 27 that the country is banning the entry of all foreigners to stem the feared spread of the Omicron variant, which has been tagged by the World Health Organization as a variant of concern. The travel ban will start at midnight between Sunday and Monday, and will last for 14 days.

But a Reuters report quoted Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov as saying that Israel will host the Miss Universe 2021 pageant as scheduled. Razvozov also said that the delegates of the pageant will be given waivers from the curbs and will be subjected to PCR testing every 48 hours. 

Earlier, fans and pageant enthusiasts wondered if there is a chance that Miss Universe 2021 will be canceled, given Israel's travel ban. 

 

Israel had already announced a travel ban on foreigners coming from 50 African nations early this week.

The MUO has yet to release an official statement regarding the matter. Pageant social media pages have been claiming that delegates and franchise owners were informed by the MUO that the event will be permitted as planned.

While MUO hasn’t confirmed this report, what can be said is how several Miss Universe 2021 delegates are either currently en route to Israel as of this writing or are already currently in Israel to prepare for the pageant, an indication that the pageant is indeed pushing through. 

Anchilee Scott-Kemmis, for instance, posted photos of herself in Tel Aviv, Israel. Candidates from Finland, Turkey, Ukraine, Portugal, Germany, and Croatia, among others, just left their home countries for the competition a few hours ago.

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And Philippine delegate Beatrice Gomez left for Israel on Saturday, Nov. 27. She arrived at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on Sunday, Nov. 28 (Philippine time).

The fate of foreigners who bought tickets to watch the Miss Universe 2021 live in Israel, however, remains unknown. The MUO has been selling tickets for the live show since the official announcement of the pageant’s date. Israel is one of the first countries to vaccinate the majority of its citizens against COVID-19. (Chuck Smith)