In recent news, a ban has been placed on the citizens of the State of Israel from travelling to countries where there is a high rate of coronavirus infection. This was announced by the government, who also provided a list of these countries which includes, Ethiopia, Ukraine, South Africa, Turkey, Mexico, India, and Brazil.
Moreover, the relevant authorities made it clear that the citizens of the country will not be allowed to make a trip to any of these places unless the circumstances are extreme. This will be determined by an exceptions committee, which will be led by the employees of the Health Ministry, as well as the Population Authority.
Israelis who travel back to Israel, either in the upcoming days or any time before the ban is lifted, will immediately have to enter quarantine. The vaccination certificates of returnees will be rendered useless, given that they were visiting one of these high infection places.
However, the statement containing the details of the ban outlined that layovers of less than 12 hours or equal to the number, will not be included in the ban.
Where non-citizens of the State of Israel are concerned, they are free to travel to these areas, if they plan on leaving the country and settling down somewhere outside of the Jewish state.
This ban will be put in place on Monday, the 3rd of May, until the 16th of May for now.
The approval from the government came just a couple of days after the Health Ministry recommended that travel to and from these seven countries be halted. The officials from the Ministry said that these areas have a high rate of infection and the variants originating in these countries may or may not be resistant to the Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.
As of now, the average number of cases in a day in Ukraine is 11,000, Brazil has 77,000, Ethiopia has 1,000, South Africa has 1,000, Mexico has almost 4,000, Turkey has 38,000, and India has 222,000. Moreover, studies of these variants, namely the Brazilian, South African, Indian, and Californian in the country, have shown that there is a high likelihood of them penetrating the protection provided by the Pfizer vaccine. Some experts believe that even though the jab may not be completely useless against these mutations, the risk is far too great to be put to the test.
The Director-General of the Health Ministry, Chezy Levy, stated that the entrance of the airport could act as a port for these variants, even if people have been vaccinated. He added that it is highly dangerous to allow people to come into and leave the country without any barrier, especially given the uncertainty surrounding the vaccine and these mutations.
The Director-General laid emphasis on how the country has to be proactive in ensuring that these variants do not spread once again. He revealed that the government and all relevant authorities are nervous about reopening the skies, afraid that it may bring them back to square one.