Covid-19: Israel bans travel to US among 10 more countries over Omicron concerns

Israelis need special permission to fly to more than 50 countries to which its citizens cannot travel.

By Reuters

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Published: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 12:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Dec 2021, 5:03 PM

Israel on Monday added the United States to its "no-fly" list, citing concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant.

Under the edict, which goes into effect at 2200 GMT on Tuesday, Israelis would need special permission to fly to the United States, now one of more than 50 countries to which its citizens cannot travel.

In a televised address on Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel had bought some time by moving fast to limit travel when Omicron was first detected last month, but that this was now waning. He predicted a surge of sicknesses within a few weeks.

Acting on Health Ministry recommendations, cabinet ministers voted on Monday to put the United States, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Canada, Switzerland and Turkey on the no-fly roster, Bennett's office said in a statement.

Israel has logged 134 confirmed Omicron cases and another 307 suspected cases, the Health Ministry said. Of these, 167 were symptomatic, it said.


In a rapid first response to Omicron, which was first detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong, Israel banned the entry of foreigners on November 25 and has imposed three to 14-day quarantine orders for Israelis returning from abroad

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