Israel's decision to allow groups of foreign tourists to enter the country even if they have not been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot could cause a new wave of infections in the country, a health expert warned on Monday.
The government's coronavirus cabinet late Sunday approved the entry of travelers who have had at least two vaccine doses in groups of five to 40 people two weeks after it opened the country's gates from November 1 to all tourists fully inoculated with a vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization.
"Politicians have proven yet again that they understand nothing," said Prof. Yehuda Adler, chairman of the European Cardiovascular and Myocardial Disease Association.
"We see what is going on in Europe. The lack of a booster shot in Western Europe has led to severe outbreaks of infections. The UK and other countries are seeing cases rising. Therefore, the decision to allow tourists who had not received the third jab is puzzling and completely detached from reality."
Adler said that the decision, which according to him is indicative of "borderline lack of intelligence", is additional proof that the country's leaders are unable to handle the pandemic, adding that he has long called to delegate the country's pandemic response to the IDF Home Front Command and local authorities.
Adler warned of a new coronavirus variant likely entering Israel.
"We are not an autarky, we are not disconnected from the world," Adler said. "Since the pandemic is still raging the globe over, it is obvious that a mutation will enter our country and spur a fifth wave of infections, which is a shame."