March 4, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on Passover Programs

Jerusalem…Israelis are beginning to cancel planned Passover holidays in Italy and other European countries as a result of growing concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus. One major factor was the cancellation of El Al Israel Airlines of most flights to Europe. Israeli program operators are obliged by Israeli law to refund the full price of air and ground fees paid. Programs in Rimini and Rome are known to already have cancelled. One program, Leisure Time, transferred guests from its Rome facility to Prague. A program in Thailand is said to have cancelled. “There is a great deal of discussion not only about possible cancellations by operators but potential consolidation,” said Raphi Bloom from totallyjewishtravel.com. Mr. Bloom says his website is getting an unprecedented number of hits, including Americans inquiring about the fate of programs in New York and South Florida. Other experts told Kosher Today that the economic impact is already being felt as vacationers are opting to cancel rather than wait closer to Passover. One Israeli operator said plainly: “Many grandmothers had better be ready for a full-house.” It is too early to say how many of the over 150 programs will close.