Hundreds of Jewish pilgrims have been denied entry to Ukraine from Belarus ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, amid a surge in novel coronavirus cases in Ukraine.

Belarus has reportedly sought to negotiate a travel corridor for the pilgrims into and out of Ukraine, but those attempts appear to have been rebuffed.

Ukraine closed its borders to foreigners last month and has vowed to stick to its temporary ban, despite pressure to make an exception for the group of pilgrims, deploying additional guards and other equipment at checkpoints in recent days.

Around 3,000 pilgrims were expected to seek entry to Ukraine in the coming days, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Almost 700 reportedly gathered in a buffer zone at the border starting Monday, the AP reported, and trucks were lining up along the border in a traffic jam.

The pilgrims are seeking to cross the land border to reach the Ukrainian city of Uman, where Hasidic Jewish rebbe Nachman of Breslov is buried.

The Washington Post

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