Israel closed their major international airport, Ben Gurion International, last month and had it set to be closed until last week. Well, last week Israel extended the closure of the airport and the ban on international flights until February 21.
Israel Keeps Ben Gurion Closed Until February 21
Israel is at the front of countries when it comes to vaccination rates with over 50% of their population having received at least one of the two doses so far. Yet, in spite of this, infection rates are still high so Israel has taken measures to combat this. Part of that came with the closure of Ben Gurion International Airport on January 25. Now, this closure has been extended even further.
This closure means that Israel’s national airline, El Al, has essentially been grounded. There are exceptions for travel in and out of the airport and those are:
- Traveling for medical treatment
- Essential work
- Legal proceedings
- Funeral of a family member
- Non-citizens leaving the country
- Traveling from one residence to another
- Entry for Israeli residents in the third trimester of pregnancy
- Citizens who departed Israel before January 25
Each of these requests will go through a special committee before it can be approved and citizens that are returning will need to be taken immediately to the designated quarantine hotels. If they test negative twice after arriving (and they must test negative within 72 hours of departing for Israel), they can leave quarantine after 10 days. Otherwise, it is a 14 day time that they must remain in quarantine.
Still Testing After Vaccinations?
In fact, it is even being talked about right now that those Israelis that are vaccinated still may need to have double negative tests or else face quarantine when the airport actually does reopen. This is response to data that suggests that some of the variants may not be immune to the vaccine. This is something that the Israeli government is considering and will likely decide on in the coming weeks. Of course, pretty much no one but Israel citizens/residents are traveling to Israel right now but if such a rule is in place when tourists begin entering again, this could have a major impact on who may decide to visit.