Ben Gurion Airport's coronavirus testing facility

Ben Gurion Airport launches coronavirus test facility

Netanyahu says that rise in morbidity rate will halt any further lifting of lockdown restrictions, ministers to meet in coming days for decision on next steps in exit strategy from lockdown, urges public to adhere to health directives

Itay Blumenthal |
Published: 11.09.20 , 13:29
Ben Gurion Airport's coronavirus testing facility was launched Monday at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Transportation Minister Miri Regev, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.
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  • The center, which is still pending approval by the Health Ministry, resides at the airport's Terminal 3 and is set to become operational in the coming days.
    המעבדה הייעודית לבדיקות קורונה לטסים לחו"ל בנתב"גהמעבדה הייעודית לבדיקות קורונה לטסים לחו"ל בנתב"ג
    Ben Gurion Airport's coronavirus testing facility
    The lab will be operated by Check2Fly, a joint company made up of Omega Pharmaceuticals and Haifa's Rambam Health Care Campus.
    A quick test, which provides results within 15 minutes, will cost NIS 135, as opposed to the standard test used costing NIS 45.
    People on outgoing flights could get tested 72 hours before takeoff and with a valid plane ticket. Passengers on incoming flights could get tested up to 4 hours after landing to ensure they are not infected by COVID-19 and would not spread it to others.
    חניכה של מערך בדיקות הקורונה של Check2fly בנמל התעופה בן גוריוןחניכה של מערך בדיקות הקורונה של Check2fly בנמל התעופה בן גוריון
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu examining one of the coronavirus testing stations
    (Photo: GPO)
    "This will allow us to return to quick and efficient normalcy when it comes to flights," said Netanyahu.
    Commenting on the current national coronavirus morbidity rate, the PM said that any further lifting of restrictions will halt for the time being until infections drop and urged the public to adhere to orders.
    "We managed to bring morbidity down to one of the lowest levels in the world and we want to make sure it stays that way," he said.
    "The morbidity rate is rising which is why tomorrow or Wednesday we will decide if we can head to the next stage in the lockdown exit plan. If there is no improvement, we will not lift restrictions," he said.
    חניכה של מערך בדיקות הקורונה של Check2fly בנמל התעופה בן גוריוןחניכה של מערך בדיקות הקורונה של Check2fly בנמל התעופה בן גוריון
    Transportation Minister Miri Regev at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: GPO)
    "If morbidity keeps rising, it will ruin the economy and cost a heavy price for the lives and health of the citizenry. I ask everybody to wear protective face masks and to urge others to do the same," the prime minister added.
    Finance Minister Israel Katz said in an interview to Ynet earlier that he is adamant shopping centers would open next week as he brushed aside concerns by health officials that the lifting of restrictions was moving ahead too soon while morbidity was on the rise.
    During the ceremony at the airport, the transportation minister, despite Israel's unemployment rate reaching a million people, took pride in the fact that Seychelles, which costs $ 500 to fly to, has labeled Israel a "green" country, which will not require Israelis entering it to quarantine.
    "Unfortunately, there are fewer 'green' countries willing to accept us, but we brought good news to Israel with Seychelles," Regev said.
    "This facility will allow Israelis to receive tests at low costs and go out and have fun," she added.

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