Less than a month before the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, a senior Ukrainian foreign ministry official announced that the Eastern European country would allow worshipers to come to the city of Uman during the High Holidays for the annual pilgrimage.
Each year, thousands of members of the Breslov Hasidic movement and other religious and non-religious Jews descend on the Ukrainian city on Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 6 this year, for a three-day festival at the gravesite of the movement's founder Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
The official said that the decision was made thanks to "good sanitary conditions regarding the coronavirus in the city at this time."
However, Israel has issued a travel warning to Ukraine due to relatively high coronavirus infection rates and requires travelers returning from the country to self-isolate for seven days upon their arrival in Israel.
According to a senior Ukrainian health ministry official, most Uman residents — especially those working in the hotel and restaurant industries — had been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
The ministry said it would implement safety measures to protect pilgrims visiting the rabbi's grave from COVID-19.
Israeli and Ukrainian volunteers will carry out rapid coronavirus tests on pilgrims wishing to travel to the Eastern European country, with some 50,000 rapid COVID-19 testing kits allocated for the job, according to the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS).
Last year, several hundred Hasidic Jews eager to take part in the Uman pilgrimage were stranded at the border with Belarus after Ukraine barred them from entering the country at the height of the pandemic.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.