A senior Health Ministry official told the Knesset State Control Committee on Wednesday that there will no longer be a required quarantine period for people entering Israel from what is classed as "green countries" - those with a low coronavirus infection rate.
Deputy Director-General of the Health Ministry Prof. Itamar Grotto said the new directive would require some preparation time but the ministry was doing all it could to expedite the order.
All those entering Israel thus far have been required to quarantine for a period of 14 days and that order will remain unchanged for all but a specific list of countries that has not yet been determined.
Committee chair MK Ofer Shelah of Yesh Atid welcomed the news.
"Air travel is one of the sectors first and most critically hurt by the coronavirus pandemic," Shelah said.
"Assuming there is no vaccine available in the next six months, Israel may find itself without an airline."
The Health Ministry has been criticized for slow-walking initiatives to allow a pilot program to re-start tourism with 11 countries with low numbers of COVID-19 cases, including the Seychelle Islands, Cyprus, Greece, South Korea, Slovenia, Montenegro, Georgia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Austria and Lithuania.
Tourism Minister Asaf Zamir also praised the decision, saying “the skies should open as fast as possible,” according to the N12 media outlet.
Transportation Minister Miri Regev called the move “important news for the aviation industry."
First published: 13:41, 07.29.20