Israel Prepares to Open Skies to Some Countries, US and UK Tourists Still Banned

Photo Credit: CBN News/Jonathan Goff

Photo Credit: CBN News/Jonathan Goff

01-02-2022 CBN News Jerusalem Emily Jones

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel’s Health Ministry said on Monday that it will allow fully vaccinated foreigners from some countries to enter Israel beginning on Sunday.

The decision lifts the government’s near-total ban on all tourists imposed in November due to fears about the Omicron variant. However, travelers on Israel’s “red” no-fly list are still forbidden from entering the country.

Health leaders on Monday recommended removing Canada, France, Hungary, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain and Portugal from the no-fly list, but decided to continue banning travel to and from the United States, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Mexico, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

“I closed the skies five weeks ago when everything was fine, and in the coming week, it is likely that we will reopen the skies,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali said on Sunday.

He explained that while the move may seem counterproductive amid rising Omicron cases, the virus is already running rampant in Israel and another 50 infections among incoming travelers are “meaningless.”

Bennett also announced during a press conference on Sunday that medical staff and people over 60 are now eligible to receive a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I call on everyone who is eligible for a fourth dose to get vaccinated. This is mainly the older population,” Bennett said during a primetime press conference, adding that the dose would give a “new layer” of protection. 

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Medical staff can get the fourth dose if at least four months have passed since they received the first booster shot, he said. Last week, Israel approved the extra jab for immunocompromised individuals. 

Israel is facing a wave of new cases and the Health Ministry said on Monday there were more than 6,500 new infections the day before. Bennett warned that Israel will likely see 10,000 new daily cases by the weekend, and 50,000 cases during the peak of the wave. 

Despite the recent surge, Bennett said Israel’s mortality rate is lower than most countries. 

“Recent mortality in Israel has been among the lowest in the world. In Britain, mortality per capita is 50 times greater. In Germany, it is 100 times greater. In the US, it is 130 times greater than in the State of Israel,” the prime minister said.

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Steve Martin

STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS My good wife Laurie and I (45 years in October 2022!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's messages, and our Ahava Adventures trips to Israel. Steve has also authored and published 34 books. We live in the Charlotte, NC area. We have four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.

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