These same officials tell Chaim V’Chessed that they will refuse entry to any foreigners who mange to arrive on Israel’s shores. “Hence, we emphatically state: FOREIGNERS SHOULD NOT BOARD ANY FLIGHTS TO ISRAEL AT THIS TIME. Failure to heed this warning may result in deportation, with possible fines or sanctions, as well.”
Here is what has been decided by the Coronavirus Cabinet – and what travelers need to know:
- Foreigners from all countries are immediately banned from entering Israel. This includes those who have already received entry permits, and is effective immediately. Chaim V’Chessed has learned that even those who manage to board flights to Israel will be barred from entering, and will be returned to their countries of origin.
- Entry permits will not be granted at this time for students, or those coming for simchas or medical emergencies. We are seeking clarification regarding travelers coming for funerals.
- As of Wednesday, December 23rd at 2 pm, Israeli citizens returning from all countries will be required to quarantine in government hotels for 10 days (after performing 2 Covid tests) or for 14 days (without testing).
- Israeli citizens entering Israel in the next 48 hours will require home quarantine and will be guided towards Corona testing in their neighborhood within 48 hours. Quarantine will last for 10 days after two negative tests and for 14 days with no testing.
- Anyone found positive for Covid amongst those returning from abroad – from any country – will require quarantine in a government-run hotel.
The above decision will stay in effect for the next 10 days, with an option for extension.
“I asked to convene the cabinet for one purpose: to close the skies,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the beginning of the cabinet meeting. “Since the meeting last night, the mutation has spread in many countries and it’s clear to us that we are at the start of a very rapid spread.”
“The viral mass entering Israel must be reduced as much as possible,” the prime minister asserted. “Meanwhile, in England they are checking what this virus is exactly, whether it’s resistant to the vaccine and additional questions.”
“In order to do this, I ask that we repeat what we did during the first wave of the coronavirus – to close the skies as quickly as possible.”
“Whoever returns from these countries will enter quarantine and it’s of vital importance that they be tested. It is precisely now, when we have the vaccine and we see the light at the end of the tunnel, that we must continue to follow the rules.”
Meanwhile, the list of countries banning flights from the UK is growing. The countries now banning flights from the UK include France, Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, Finland, Switzerland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Croatia, Iran, Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Morocco, India, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Israel.
France, which shares a maritime border with the UK, has also banned trucks from Britain for 48 hours while the new virus strain is evaluated. The new rules have led to long backups on both sides of the English Channel and concern is rising that food shortages could ensue if the restrictions continue.