A green zone under the blue skies

With the Corona virus still floating around in human air space, life has become very difficult for each and every one of us. However, humans are smart, resilient and inventive. Trying to bring life back to some type of normalcy is a challenge but not im

Dead Sea ariel view 1.JPG
Ein Bokek is the hotel resort at the centre of the Tamar Council region.  The hotels embrace the shores of the gaint salt lake and provide a haven of health and serinity for all its visitors. For the past nine months the area has been literally dead!  The hotels are, as in the rest of the world, closed, the shops are shut and the bars, restaurants and cafes are firmly 'ferme'.  This is the first time in the history of the area, approximately 50 years, that the hotels have closed.  No war, no entifada, no terrorist threat has every closed these hotels. Since March 2020 the only visitors to the area have been the cats.  In fact, the Tamar Regional Council actually purchased cat food and has been feeds the cats throughout this period.  

Now, after serveral weeks of persuasion, negotiations and a few arguments, new laws have been passed that enable Eilat and Ein Bokek, Dead Sea to be declared 'green zones' which allows the tourist industry to be reborn under certain restrictions and regulations.  The uniqueness of the Dead Sea allows for the existence of a 'sterile area' to which vacationers who are negative for COVID-19 can gather, thus minimizing the risk of the virus spreading. 

The hoteliers and their staff have been busy, cleaning, sanitizing, cooking, and baking making everything ready for the Israeli tourist.  The roads leading to the resort area have been closed off, barring one, checkpoints have been set up and notifications to the public stating all the relevant requirements have been publicized.  The beaches have been combed, the signposts adapted to the current requirements and the sun has promised to shine despite the rain in the rest of the country. In normal days over 5000 people work at Ein Bokek and this new 'green zone' has enabled at 2500 of them to return to work and support their families again.  There is hope that more retail outlets and bars and restaurants will open, so all the 5000 will be able to return to permanent employment.  

And the public arrived ....  not in droves but enough to restore the hoteliers faith that life will get back to normal sooner rather than later.  Among the visitors was President Rivlin.  An official visit, not to holiday but to take a closer look at how tourism was being revived while complying with conditions demanded by the Health Ministry.  The President encouraged the locals to take advantage of this unique opportunity to have a vacation 'at home' and in a corona free enviornment.  He warned the public to comply with the precautions, negetaive COVID-19 test, masks at all times, social distancing and advance hotel bookings.  

Fabiana reporter with COVID test
The council recently hosted serveral international journalists who came to visit and went through the whole process of taking the COVID-19 test before entering the zone.  In the picture you can see Fabiana Magri, from the Italian Elle magazine and La Stampa the Turin local newspaper, just having received her 'negative for COVID-19 virus' results, and the meeting at the municipality officies with the Mayor, Mr. Nir Wanger.

Press conference with Mayor

The Dead Sea has come alive once again. 





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