Foreign citizens barred from entering Israel

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett  credit: Marc Israel Sellem, Jerusalem Post

The ministerial coronavirus committee has approved new rules on travel and mass gatherings to deal with the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The ministerial committee on the Covid-19 pandemic has approved the proposals of the prime minister and the minister of health for dealing with the new coronavirus variant.

Under the plan that was approved, Israeli citizens arriving in Israel from overseas who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid-19 (as defined in Ministry of Health rules) will undergo a PCR test on landing, after which they will go into isolation at home and undergo a further PCR test on the third day after their arrival. If the result of that test is negative, they will be released from isolation. Anyone who does not undergo the second PCR test on the third day will be required to complete a full isolation period, that is, fourteen days, or seven days subject to a test on the seventh day.

Israelis who have not been vaccinated will be required to remain in isolation for the full period. They too will undergo a PCR test on landing in Israel, after which they will be isolated at home for fourteen days, unless the result of a PCR test on the seventh day is negative.

Israelis returning from countries designated "red" (most countries in Africa, apart from North Africa) will undergo a PCR test on landing in Israel, following which they will transfer to an isolation hotel until the test result is received. If the result is negative, they will be able to complete the isolation period at home, and will be released from isolation if a PCR test on the seventh day proves negative.

All foreign citizens from all countries will be barred from entry into Israel, other than in cases approved by an exceptions committee.

The ministerial committee said in its statement that "ways of aiding the tourism industry will be formulated" and that "the state will inform Israelis departing from the country that there may be changes in the guidelines during their stay overseas, and that they will be responsibility for compliance with the up-to-date guidelines when they return to Israel."

Besides the rules applying to travel, it was decided that the Israel Security Agency will use telephone location technology to monitor the movements of people with verified cases of the new Omicron variant. This decision will come into force after approval by the government under emergency regulations. At the same time, legislation will be introduced on this subject.

A Green Pass will be required for participation in gatherings of over 50 people in closed spaces, instead of 100 people under current rules.

Performances and activities during Hanukah will be allowed to go ahead under the guidelines approved last week, with strict application of the Green Pass rules and stepped up enforcement.

So far, one Israeli returning from Malawi has been verified as infected by the Omicron variant. Seven other people are suspected of being infected but have not yet received test results. Of the seven, three have been vaccinated or have had Covid-19and four have not. Four of them have just returned from abroad, and three have not traveled abroad recently.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 28, 2021.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2021.

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett  credit: Marc Israel Sellem, Jerusalem Post
Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett credit: Marc Israel Sellem, Jerusalem Post
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