Passengers and staff wear masks at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel's primary port of entry
Passengers and staff wear masks at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel's primary port of entry
Photo: Yariv Katz
 Passengers and staff wear masks at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel's primary port of entry

Israelis welcome in only four countries due to coronavirus spread

Head of Knesset committee on handling pandemic scolds top Health Ministry official for failing to produce a plan that would allow resumption of international travel, which is set to take effect on August 16

Nina Fox |
Published: 08.10.20 , 16:13
Israel's lack of control over the coronavirus spread means that only four other nations in the world are currently willing to admit its nationals, representatives of the Foreign and Health ministries told lawmakers on Monday.
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  • The officials told the Knesset committee on handling the coronavirus pandemic that just Croatia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Rwanda will let Israelis enter the country and only if they provide a negative test for COVID-19.
     Passengers and staff wear masks at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel's primary port of entry Passengers and staff wear masks at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel's primary port of entry
    Passengers and staff wear masks at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel's primary port of entry
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    The committee, which has final say over policies on the virus, had met to discuss the government decision to resume international travel to and from Israel on August 16.
    But its members were told by Dr. Asher Shalmon, the director of the International Relations Division at the Health Ministry, that he could not produce a list of nations considered safe enough to allow their citizens to enter the country or a plan for quarantining new arrivals.
    "You are not presenting us with a plan," committee chair Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton said.
    "What is the problem? It is bad enough if you do not wish to reveal the information, and it's worse if you don't have enough data to do so," she said.
    יפעת שאשא ביטוןיפעת שאשא ביטון
    Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton chairs a meeting of the Knesset committee dealing with the coronavirus pandemic
    (Photo: The Knesset)
    Shalmon said there was a proposal under consideration that would allow Israelis to return from abroad without having to isolate for 14 days, if they had traveled to countries considered to have a low infection rate.
    He said, however, that he was not authorized to specify which countries were being considered by the government.
    "We do not demand a COVID-19 test for returning Israelis, but other countries may demand one before allowing entry, and we must then provide a test for those wishing to travel," he said.
    איילת שקדאיילת שקד
    Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked
    (Photo: Yariv Katz)
    Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked slammed government's slow implementation of a plan to resume air travel, singling out the lack of testing capabilities at the country's airports.
    "I find it hard to believe that a country that can locate and remove Iran's nuclear archive cannot set up proper testing at the airport," she said.

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