Amid the rapid global spread of the omicron variant, Israel on Monday issued a decree banning travel to the United States, Canada and eight other countries, seven of which are European — Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office announced the decision after a cabinet vote. The rare move by Israel, which is experiencing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, to include the United States on its red list, indicates a shift in epidemic practices between the two countries that have close diplomatic relations, according to observers.
Information from the news agency News agency (AP), The United States will join a growing list of countries and destinations to which Israelis are prohibited from traveling and from which returning travelers must remain in quarantine.
Now, a parliamentary committee must give final approval to the measure. Once permission is obtained, the travel ban will take effect at midnight on Wednesday.
Israel has seen an increase in new cases of the most contagious type of coronavirus in recent weeks and began closing its borders and restricting travel in late November. Foreign nationals are not allowed to enter and all Israelis arriving from abroad must be placed in quarantine, including vaccinated citizens.
Earlier this year, Israel launched a vaccination campaign that has become a world leader. Currently, more than 4.1 million of Israel’s population of 9.3 million have received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Last Sunday, at prime time, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett asked parents to vaccinate their children, after he announced the start of the “fifth wave” of coronavirus infections in the country. Until that day, the Israeli Ministry of Health had reported 175 cases of the new type.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has recorded at least 8,232 deaths from the coronavirus.
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