Israel Suspends Travel Quotas and Implements New Coronavirus Regulations2 min read
In recent news, the government of the State of Israel has given its approval for new regulations to be imposed on the Ben-Gurion Airport. These will pertain to all the departures and arrivals of the airport for as long as the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague the country. Saturday evening will mark the beginning of these new rules.
As per the new guidelines, all entry quotas will be cancelled on the midnight of Saturday. Thus, there will be no limit on the number of people permitted to enter or leave the country. The way to determine the flights will depend solely on the capacity of the airport to receive people, and consequently hold them for testing. All of this will be done with coronavirus and social distancing guidelines in mind.
In addition, incoming passengers will no longer be required to have their temperature checked when they enter the terminal or before they board.
Moreover, citizens leaving the country will not have to write an application to the special committee for approval. Airlines will also have permission to send cargo flights into the country and utilize the plane for the purpose of passenger flights when it returns.
The new guidelines will be implemented for at least a period of one week, until the 28th of March.
Furthermore, the Taba Border Crossing, located between Egypt and Israel was also reopened to allow the citizens to cross over. This was done mainly due to the large number of Israelis wanting to go for a holiday in the Sinai.
On the other hand, Benny Gantz, the Defense Minister, and Orit Farkash-Hacohen, the Tourism Minister, had a meeting and agreed that they need a couple of days to ensure that the Taba Border Crossing will not facilitate the spread of the disease. They asked for at least a few days to make sure that it operates as per the same coronavirus health guidelines, which will be followed at the airport.
Farkash-Hacohen took to Twitter to announce the good news. She expressed happiness at the fact that the Crossing is reopening after an entire year. She further added that once logistical preparations have been completed, the opening will make way for the public.
However, Israelis seeking to travel abroad still have to undergo a coronavirus test before they take a return flight into the country. They also have to take an additional test soon after landing.
The change in airport guidelines has come about due to a ruling of the High Court of Justice, in which the previous travel restrictions were struck down.
Yuli Edelstein, the Health Minister, along with other officials from the Ministry had been quite unhappy with these developments. They expressed concern regarding other coronavirus variants entering the country due to ease in travel limitations. However, the ruling of the High Court did not change.