Beatrice Luigi Gomez (right) and other candidates of 70th Miss Universe Competition (MISSUUPDATES, Instagram)

Welcome, queens!

Wearing face masks, some candidates for the 70th Miss Universe Competition started to arrive in Israel despite an earlier announcement from the Israeli government that it would ban all foreigners from entering the country due to Omicron, a variant of COVID-19.

On Instagram Nov. 28, Beatrice posed with candidates from Laos, Singapore, Argentina, and Cambodia.

Upon arrival, the candidates will undergo the mandatory PCR test and then a mandatory quarantine waiting for test results, according to MISUUPDATES.

On Nov. 28, the AFP reported that Israel will close its borders to all foreigners in a bid to stem the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, authorities said.

“The entry of foreign nationals into Israel is banned except for cases approved by a special committee,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, adding that the measure would take effect on Sunday evening.

An e-mail sent by the Miss Universe Organization encouraged all candidates to continue their travel to Israel. It read:

“We are aware of the recent announcement by the Israeli Ministry of Health regarding foreigners who travel to Israel as part of an effort to stem the spread of the ‘Omicron’ variant. We wanted to make you aware that as of this early morning in Israel (Nov, 28), it is our understanding that the Miss Universe event will be permitted to go forward as planned.

“Therefore, unless otherwise advised by us, all travel should continue as planned. Please continue to the airport for your scheduled flight. We will, of course, notify you, if anything changes.

“Upon arrival in Israel, as part of the production, we will continue to abide by COVID-19 guidelines set by our COVID-19 officers and response team to make sure that our production is safe,” the email said.

The grand finals of the 70th Miss Universe Competition will be held in Eilat, Israel on Dec. 12 (Dec. 13 Manila time).