Vaccinated or not, foreigners can no longer visit Israel once again, just four weeks after the air travel had been reopened on November 1st.
With the new Omicron variant of the Coronavirus being more potent, and leading to doubling death rates in African countries, the Israeli coronavirus cabinet has once again slammed its borders shut to foreigners.
Barring entry for all non-citizens, the new edict will currently be in effect for 14 days, and as reported by local outlets, foreigners who reside in Israel (visa holders) will also be included in the ban. Unfortunately, foreign residents who were intending to travel abroad for Chanuka will now have to reconsider their plans.
On the other hand, Israelis returning from abroad, even if vaccinated, will now be required to quarantine for three days upon landing. They will be allowed to exit quarantine after receiving a negative Covid result on the third day.
Explaining why more restrictions should be put into place with the looming Omicron variant, Dr. Alroy-Preis, the head of the Health Ministry’s Public Health Division said, “The variant apparently first developed in mid-October and was sequenced in South Africa and in Hong Kong – in those who returned from South Africa. It is very concerning because it has a number of very unusual mutations, precisely in the very areas we’re worried about. We don’t know yet how it will affect the death rate in general. What we do know is that the death rate in South Africa has doubled. What is even more concerning is the epidemiology – a very rapid spread in South Africa. The number of cases there has risen from 200 to 2,000 in ten days, it has become 75% of the genetic sequencing in the country. We know that there are also cases of infection in those who are vaccinated, they experience light symptoms.”