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Israel Almost Completely Halts Air Travel

Tel Aviv beach

Israel will halt most air travel in and out of the country for at least a week starting from midnight Monday-Tuesday, in an effort to block the invasion of emerging virus variants.

All foreign airlines will be barred from landing in Israel other than those carrying cargo, and Israel’s own passenger airlines will be temporarily grounded.

Israeli ministers approved the near-complete shuttering of Ben Gurion Airport until the end of January. 

The Government has approved the motion by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health to ban all inbound and outbound flights, as specified below:

1. Air travel of foreign aircrafts to Israel is banned, except cargo aircrafts, firefighting aircrafts, or urgent medical evacuation aircrafts;

2. Temporary suspension of operation of Israeli airlines;

3. Less exceptions of outbound international air travel: permitting only air travel for a medical treatment, legal proceedings that the passenger is a party of or that the passenger must attend, or funeral of a family relative.

Ministry of Health Director General, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transportation Director General, may approve outbound international air travel on humanitarian grounds or special personal need. The ban also applies to Israeli-owned private aircrafts.

The restrictions take effect tomorrow, 25.01.2021, at midnight (between Monday and Tuesday) to allow passengers, airlines, and airports to prepare. The ban on inbound international air travel does not apply to flights before the restrictions take effect.

These restrictions are in effect until January 31st, 2021.

The strict measure follows weeks of soaring infection and deaths in Israel. At least 1,028 Israelis have died of coronavirus so far this month alone, nearly a quarter of the 4,392 Israelis who have died of the virus over all.

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