Miss Universe contestants tour Jerusalem old city

Wearing face-masks, the contestants posed for pictures with the Holy City in the background.

Israel said it would host the Miss Universe beauty pageant in the Red Sea resort of Eilat on Dec. 12 despite imposing travel restrictions to try to stave off the Omicron coronavirus variant.

On Saturday (November 27) Israel announced it would ban foreigners from entering the country, lengthen quarantines for citizens and residents returning from abroad and reinstate controversial cellphone surveillance designed to track infections.

However, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said that Miss Universe participants would be granted waivers while possibly undergoing PCR testing every 48 hours and other precautionary measures.

One contestant was diagnosed with COVID-19, Israeli media reported.

Senior health ministry official Sharon Alroy-Preis said Israel was putting together a safety plan for Miss Universe and could limit admission to the pageant from countries deemed to be high-risk.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting