Report: Israel May Open Its Skies Via Rapid COVID-19 Tests By September

Ben-Gurion Airport empty of passengers. (Kan News screenshot)

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In recent weeks, the prospect of traveling to Israel has seemed to grow more and more gloomy. Coronavirus cases are soaring, health experts are predicting a collapse of the health care system and the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) just announced on Monday that the ban on non-Israeli citizens has been extended to September. A later report said that the ban may even be extended until after the Yamim Tovim.

On the other hand, there are reports that yeshivos and seminaries will be allowed to open and some senior government officials have been saying that opening Israel’s skies is essential for revitalizing Israel’s economy. A Kan News report on Tuesday said that a new policy may be implemented in the next couple of weeks that will dramatically change the situation. According to the report, the IAA is in discussions regarding establishing a coronavirus testing station in Ben-Gurion Airport, with the capability of carrying out 800 tests per hour with rapid results.

The testing station, with its capability of carrying out tens of thousands of tests in 24 hours and producing rapid results, will eliminate or greatly minimize the need for travelers to quarantine, with travelers only having to wait a short period for (hopefully negative) test results.

According to the report, a meeting is being held on Wednesday between the National Security Council (NSC) and two testing companies, and on Thursday the NSC is meeting with the IAI.

If the meetings are successful and the plan is approved, it’s possible that the testing station could begin operation as early as the beginning of September. But even if it takes a bit longer, it’s very likely to be implemented before Tishrei (the first day of Tishrei falls out on September 19), allowing people to travel to Israel for the Yamim Tovim.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Wouldn’t it be more logical to offer testing at point of departure, so that if someone [Heaven Forbid] has the misfortune of a positive result, s/her can already decline to fly hence not necessitating 14 day quarantine.

  2. In addition, if someone is positive (ch”v), they are not exposing all passengers and flight attendants.
    Definitely a better choice to do it at place of departure.

  3. It would be more logical but it’s much more difficult to implement. Because then Isreal would have to install testing stations in every airport across the world. Nearly impossible