Israel’s Tourism Minister Calls For End Of COVID Testing At Ben-Gurion

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Then-Prime Minister Netanyahu checking out a COVID-19 testing station at Ben-Gurion on November 9, 2020. (Photo: GPO)

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Israel’s Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid) on Monday called for an end to coronavirus testing for those arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel.

“Enough with PCR tests upon entering Israel,” Razvozov stated. “Mandatory PCR testing is a financial burden and the main reason for the lines at Ben-Gurion.”

“As long as COVID is decreasing, it’s possible and necessary to make it even easier for Israelis and tourists arriving here. The cancelation of the PCR test as a condition of entry is a necessary step that will result in an improved flight experience and a reduction of vacation costs in Israel.”

Earlier this week, former coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu also called for an end of COVID testing at Ben-Gurion, saying that carrying out the tests is unreasonable since the number of positive cases found among incoming travelers is only a small percentage of daily cases.

“Why aren’t we testing everybody if there are many more cases within Israel?” Gamzu said. “Essentially we’re testing healthy people and forcing them to pay from their own pockets.”

According to a Channel 12 News report, the Health Ministry is considering the move.

On Motzei Shabbos, Israel lifted the requirement to wear masks in indoor places, one of the few remaining coronavirus restrictions that was still being imposed. Masks are still required in hospitals and nursing homes and on flights.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


5 COMMENTS

  1. and the main reason for the lines at Ben-Gurion Well not quite:- On February 2nd, my flight touched down at 1.45PM early instead of 2.10PM, & I was already thru & out of airport with suitcase & Corona test done by 2.30PM, fastest I had ever gotten out of Ben-Gurion.

  2. Good news is never news….only the kvetching like those inconvenienced by the departure delays over the weekend and the infamous “lashon harah” letter to the editor. Air travel will always be stressful and unpredictable. Always have a backup plan (alternate flights, hotel reservations etc) in case of cancellations, weather delays or simply just “stuff” that happens.

  3. We should definitely end masks on flights. Airplanes are probably the safest place to be in a pandemic. ק”ו בן בנו של ק”ו after the pandemic

  4. Such stupidity, especially after they found passengers arriving with a new strain. I agree with 147. the cost & time taking an Antigen test was minimal and it secures us all from incoming new cases. The absurd part, are masks on the airplane. You can’t get on the airplane without a negative result from the test, so WHY THE MASKS, but these geniuses want to take away the added protection upon arrival. Upside down World we live in!!!!

  5. It’s not much of a burden, and I can’t see that it would deter anyone from visiting Israel. We went through this a couple of weeks ago. Cost was about $20 per person when paid in advance. It took about 5 minutes. Results were available a few hours later.