Israel imposes travel bans for Britain, Denmark over Omicron spread

MENA , Tuesday 14 Dec 2021

Israel has announced that it was adding Britain and Denmark to its "red" list of countries that Israelis are forbidden to visit, citing concern over the spread of the Omicron variant.

Travelers at Ben Gurion Airport
Travelers wearing protective face masks arrive at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel. The travel restrictions for Britain and Denmark will go into effect on Dec 15, 2021. AFP

The travel restrictions for the three countries will go into effect on Wednesday, Ynet quoted Health Ministry's Director of Public Health Dr. Sharon Elroy-Preis as telling a news conference.

Israel has already banned the entry of foreigners to try to stem COVID-19 infection rates and imposed 3-7 day self-isolation orders for Israelis returning from abroad.

At the news conference, Elroy-Preis said Britain and Denmark were being placed on the restricted list because of the "significant spread of the Omicron variant" there.

She had also announced that Belgium would be included in the ban but the Health Ministry said later it had reassessed infection rates there and decided to keep the country off the "red" list for now.

Some 50 countries, mainly in Africa, have been declared "red" by Israel since the discovery of the highly contagious variant.

Israeli health officials said there have been 55 confirmed cases of Omicron infection in Israel, which has been trying to accelerate its vaccination program while weighing stricter enforcement of mask mandates. 

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