Israel: 3 Cases Of New Variant Found In Travelers; Health Minister: “Tests At Ben-Gurion Will Continue”

Illustrative. People wearing protective face masks arrive at the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Hours after Israel’s Tourism Minister called for an end to COVID testing at Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel’s Health Ministry announced on Monday that three cases of a new COVID variant have been discovered in travelers who arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport last week.

The new variant is the BA.4 Omicron subvariant which is currently spreading in South Africa, leading to an increase in the infection rate there.

According to the ministry, one of the travelers had returned from South Africa, one from Singapore, and one from Italy. “Beyond that, there is not yet any further information about this variant and the Health Ministry is continuing to monitor and update [the public] as needed,” the ministry stated.

Earlier on Monday, Israel’s Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov called for an end to COVID testing at Ben-Gurion Airport and a Channel 12 News report said that the Health Ministry is considering the move.

However, following the discovery of the new variant in Israel, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said: “This indicates the importance of the tests we carry out at Ben-Gurion. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet taken leave of COVID, not us nor the world. We survived the Omicron, not COVID. If we need to take new steps, we’ll take them.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. We all know it’s a money making business that’s it!
    It’s almost a certainty that different variants will get to Israel
    Whether PCR in the airport is functioning or not

  2. No rise in hospitalizations, so this is just continuing the previous policy of showing how much they can “control” it and justifying backwards their wrong policies.