“COVID Flight:” 14 Israelis Returning From Dubai Test Positive For Virus

Illustrative. A passenger in a full, disposable hazmat suit arrives at the baggage claim area of Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

A senior Health Ministry official confirmed on Wednesday that 14 Israelis who returned to Israel on a flight from Dubai were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

The passengers on the “coronavirus flight,” which landed on Monday, December 28, have been instructed to quarantine.

On Tuesday, Israel canceled the order requiring all travelers returning to Israel from abroad to quarantine in state-run hotels. Instead, passengers will now be required to be tested for the coronavirus at the airport and will then be allowed to quarantine at home, with another mandatory virus test on the ninth day of quarantine.

The requirement to quarantine at hotels faced fierce opposition from the public. On Wednesday, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the cancellation of the hotel quarantine order, to be implemented immediately. Those who are already quarantined at the hotels will be released to their homes as long as they agree to undergo a coronavirus test.

The United Arab Emirates shattered its single-day record of new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with 1,723 recorded cases.

The record figure comes after the UAE said it detected its first known cases of the new, fast-spreading variant of the virus in people arriving from abroad. With an economy that runs on aviation and hospitality, the UAE has remained open for tourism and business.

The commercial hub of Dubai prepares to draw thousands of revelers for New Year’s Eve celebrations downtown, where authorities have mandated mask-wearing and social-distancing.

The UAE has a total of 206,092 cases and 665 deaths amid an aggressive testing campaign.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)