As Israeli tourists flock to visit the newly opened United Arab Emirates, Israel’s Health Ministry officials are growing more and more concerned about an alarming rise in coronavirus morbidity in the UAE in recent weeks.
According to a Channel 12 News report on Tuesday, ministry officials said if new daily cases in the UAE continue to surpass 1,000 a day, it may be designated as a “red” state.
However, officials also acknowledge the fact that imposing travel restrictions on the UAE would cause strain on Israel’s newly formed diplomatic relations with the Gulf state.
The United Arab Emirates has been designated by the US Centers for Disease Control as a “very high” risk level for COVID-19 (along with Israel and over 170 other countries).
The first Israeli commercial flight to the United Arab Emirates landed in Dubai on Tuesday. The Israir flight flew over Saudi Arabia, landing in Dubai after a trip of just over three hours, less than half the time the flight would take if required to avoid Saudi airspace.
Israir is scheduled to operate daily flights to Dubai. El Al and Arkia Airlines launched their maiden flights to Dubai on Thursday and will also be operating daily flights on the Tel Aviv-Dubai route.
— إسرائيل في الخليج (@IsraelintheGulf) December 1, 2020
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) December 1, 2020
— ynet עדכוני (@ynetalerts) December 3, 2020
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)