Israel has banned foreigners from Britain, South Africa and Denmark
Israeli authorities on Sunday approved new restrictive measures banning foreign nationals traveling from Britain, Denmark and South Africa. It is a desperate move to try to prevent the spread of new coronavirus mutations that have been reported in those countries.
At the same time, the new measures require all Israelis returning from these three countries to enter solitary confinement in state-run quarantine hotels.
All Israeli returnees from these countries will be tested for coronavirus. They will have to remain in institutionalized quarantine for 14 days, unless they receive two negative results, which will allow them to leave after 10 days.
About 130 passengers, who traveled with two flights from London to Tel Aviv on Sunday, were sent to quarantine hotels under the new measures, with passengers learning about the new restrictions only on landing.
The passengers were first taken to an isolated area of the Ben Gurion Airport terminal, where they were tested for coronavirus and then taken immediately for isolation to state-run hotels.
30 of the passengers refused to go to the institutionalized quarantine, which led to the call of the police to calm the spirits. In the end, they were boarded on a flight from London.
Israeli health officials worried about new coronavirus strain found in England
Israeli health officials are worried about the new coronavirus strain found in England, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said is up to 70% more communicable.
Outside the UK, nine cases have been reported in Denmark, as well as one in the Netherlands and one in Australia, according to the WHO. All cases were confirmed with the new strain of COVID-19.
Regarding South Africa, the situation is a little different. A very aggressive strain of COVID-19 was detected in that country and is thought to have been the basis of the 2nd pandemic wave. Known as 501.V2, it was identified by South African researchers and the details were sent to the World Health Organization..
Until now, foreign travelers have been allowed to enter Israel only to participate in events approved by the Ministry of Health, if they are first-degree relatives and for other reasons. Non-Israeli citizens of the United Kingdom, South Africa and Denmark will no longer be allowed to enter Israel, even if some were eligible until now.
In addition, the Ministry of Health is working to identify people in the country who have arrived from the UK, Denmark or South Africa in the last two weeks to test them for COVID-19.
After Sunday's meeting of the coronavirus cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the new strain appears to be spreading faster, but is not necessarily more deadly.