The Jerusalem Post
The government voted to ban all foreigners from entering Israel as part of an effort to stem the spread of the new South African “Omicron” variant, one case of which has been confirmed in the country and seven others which are under investigation.
The coronavirus cabinet met for nearly three hours on Saturday night agreeing on a series of new restrictions.
For the time being, all individuals returning from any country – vaccinated Israelis included – will need to be isolated for three days upon entry into Israel. Travelers would be tested at the airport and then be required to take a PCR test on day three, and only leave isolation once a negative result is obtained.
Unvaccinated Israelis would be required to be isolated for seven days subject to a negative test.
And any foreigners who do manage to get permission to enter Israel would have to quarantine in a state-run coronavirus hotel.
The government had ruled earlier Saturday that some 50 countries in the African continent would be labeled red. The cabinet agreed that before leaving Israel, travelers would be asked to declare on the Health Ministry website that they are not traveling to one of these banned countries. Traveling to them without permission could result in a NIS 5,000 fine.
Israelis returning from red countries will be sent directly to a coronavirus hotel until a negative result is obtained. Travelers who test negative at the hotel will be sent home to complete a week of isolation pending a second negative test. Those who test positive will need to stay in the hotel. This requirement has already gone into effect for anyone returning from Ethiopia, Botswana, South Africa or Malawi. It will apply to the rest of the list of countries beginning at midnight between Sunday and Monday on November 29.
The cabinet also decided that Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) surveillance for anyone who tests positive upon return to Israel from a banned African country would be reinstated.
Finally, the government reduced the minimum number of people that can be at an event without requiring a Green Pass from 100 to 50 people. All other Chanukkah events will go on as planned, according to the Green Pass outline.
All decisions are subject to final approval by the larger cabinet and, unless otherwise mentioned, are expected to go into effect at midnight between November 28 and 29.