Israel skies to partially reopen

Up to 3000 citizens per day will be allowed to enter Israel under latest measures


A picture taken on March 22, 2018 shows arriving passengers queueing to present their travel documents before passport control at Ben Gurion International Airport on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. / AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Up to 3000 citizens per day will be allowed to enter Israel from Sunday under plans to partially reopen Israel’s skies.

The coronavirus cabinet approved the measure, which still needs approval from the full cabinet.

While some details are still unclear, a number of reports have suggested that only those verified by Israel’s ‘green pass’ system will be allowed to fly abroad without obtaining special permission, and will be subject to Covid testing but no quarantine.

The green pass allows those who have been vaccinated or have presumed immunity after contracting coronavirus to register in an app.

Over 96 per cent of eligible Israelis have now been administered at least one dose of the vaccine.

According to The Times of Israel, who cited a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, non-citizens will still need approval from the Exemptions Committee to enter the country.

Israelis who aren’t fully vaccinated will also need to seek permission to leave, and are subject to testing and quarantine when they return.

It has also been reported that flights to and from Frankfurt, Kiev, New York City and Paris will be the first to take off, and will be determined by the Transportation Ministry alongside the Health Ministry.

But the plan drew criticism from Health Ministry officials, who worried about importing foreign strains of the virus.

The Jerusalem Post quoted public health chief Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis as saying: “We see many mutations out there, not just from New York.

“We must make sure that [the quarantine of] people who enter will not be just under police enforcement, otherwise we will find ourselves in a catastrophic situation in a month and we will ask ourselves how we allowed people in carrying mutations.

“In such a situation, the vaccination campaign may be proven useless. We must be careful.”

Israeli airways have been closed to all but a few repatriation flights since January 25.


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