CLOSURE EXTENDED: Israel Postpones Entry Of Vaccinated Tourists Until August 1st Following COVID Surge

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PM Bennett speaks at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday, June 23. (Chaim Zach/GPO)

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Israeli officials on Wednesday decided to postpone the entry of international tourists from countries with low coronavirus rates for at least a month (August 1st at the earliest) over the recent surge of COVID-19 in Israel.

A meeting was held between Prime Minister Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, and the decision was made.

The announcement comes on the second consecutive day that Israel confirmed over 100 new coronavirus cases, the highest number since April.

The country was set to begin reopening to individual foreign tourists on July 1, based on the Health Ministry’s outline, but two coronavirus outbreaks in schools in Binyamina and Modi’in have led to the daily number of COVID cases spike to the highest since April.

The Health Ministry is implementing limited restrictions in response to the uptick in coronavirus cases and will require some vaccinated or recovered Israelis to enter quarantine in certain situations.

Health Ministry Director-General Chezy Levy signed a new directive on Wednesday, requiring those vaccinated or recovered to enter quarantine if they are in contact with someone infected with a highly infectious variant, if they are in regular contact with a high-risk or non-vaccinated population, or if they were in contact with a coronavirus carrier on a plane.

Mask-wearing has also been made mandatory at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Those who violate quarantine will be fined up to NIS 5,000 and parents of children under the age of 12 will be fined if their children are caught violating quarantine.

Israelis traveling abroad will now be required to sign a declaration that they are not traveling to virus hotspots, including Russia, India, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Those who are caught visiting hotspot countries will be fined NIS 5,000.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that the government is treating the current increase in virus cases as a new outbreak and that he is reinstalling the coronavirus cabinet.

The reestablishment of the coronavirus cabinet was approved by a telephone vote on Tuesday. Its members are Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana, and Economy Minister Orna Barbivai.

Speaking from Ben-Gurion Airport, Bennett also urged Israelis to refrain from traveling abroad if not strictly necessary and have their children over age 12 vaccinated. He also recommended “in the name of professionals” to return to wearing face masks in closed spaces.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


11 COMMENTS

  1. Need to stop Israelis traveling overseas from reentering Israel, since they are the ones who caused this renewed outbreak, and not chutznokim, so stop showing favoritism to Israelis & contempt to Chutznokim, who are the main benefactors of your country.

  2. Need to stop the lockdowns and stop the testing. There is are NO hospitalizations here, so there’s no justification for creating a balegan. It’s just killing people’s parnasa more and more.

  3. Not since the Romans were Jews banned from Yerushalayim. Now they are banning Jews from Israel for over a year already. It has nothing to do with covid. It is purely a matter of opportunistic control.

  4. Thank you to all the wise guys who sold fake documentation, to the so called holy yeshivas that participated in these frauds and to the selfish people who broke quarantine. You should all be ashamed

  5. 5townsyekke has a point. Try keeping the supposed sinah down by nobody using false documents and lies to travel when they are not supposed to. Any human that saw people die of Covid would agree.
    @ 147. nice rant, a little low on facts. Tourism is not as large a part of the Israeli economy as it used to be. Try to realize that a Government’s first obligation s to their citizens, not visitors. Besides, so many of us think we are smarter and rent apartments rather than us hotels. I am not sure how much of that money enters the Israeli economy.

  6. Notwithstanding the arrogance of those whose fraudulent behavior was a factor in this decision, its better to be safe and wait another month until the public health authorities fully understand the new Delta variant of the virus. EY can survive for a few weeks w/o tourists and the yeshiva bochurim from chutz l’aretz have plenty of options for continuing their learning at homel

  7. 5townsyekke, your sinah is stealing your seichel. Israel’s population is almost entirely vaccinated and those who were not had covid-19, so what’s a difference if a few infected people come in, ok? Just stop it. This is all ridiculous including forcing all citizens to take vaccines and closing the borders.

    I applaud everyone who was able to get in whichever way. Closing the borders to foreigners for 14-15 months is all non-stop power-playing corruption.