Israel is in the process of slowly reopening their country as well after a huge shutdown was instituted in response to the coronavirus. They have had over 16,000 cases and almost 250 deaths related to Covid-19. Now, they are taking security steps to create a “coronavirus-free zone” at the most secure airport in the world – Ben Gurion International.
Israel Creating a “Coronvirus-Free Zone” at Ben Gurion
If you have ever visited Israel before (I have over 30 times), you know well the security process that exists at the airport. El Al is the most secure airline in the world and Ben Gurion is the most secure airport in the world. As such, there are numerous security protocols already in place that call for passengers to normally arrive 3 hours before their flight (though I have done it in much less time before).
New Safety Protocols for Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport Departures
Now, their new protocols address the coronavirus situation and will require people to arrive even earlier. The new plan calls for passengers to arrive at the airport 4 hours before their flight and only ticketed passengers will be allowed to enter the terminal.
As of now, when travelers arrive for their flights at Ben Gurion, this is what the protocols require:
- Masks on
- Get checked for a fever
- No escorts – only ticketed passengers in the terminal
- Travelers should arrive 4 hours before their flight
- Check-in stations will be mostly digital
- Distancing will need to be observed (and is marked)
- Sanitization stations will be located all around
- Cleaning robots will be everywhere as well
It should be noted that, as of today, this is just for the departures at Ben Gurion. This is just because international arrivals will not be allowed until the end of the month. However, Israel says that incoming travelers will face even more hurdles but they do not have those finalized yet.
Some countries may also have embassy representatives on hand to check travel documents. This could mean that travelers will not need to enter quarantine again upon returning to their homeland.
Finally, Israel is talking with authorities in the US, Europe and elsewhere about these measures so it could be possible we will see them at other airports if these measures both work and are not too problematic.
Featured image by GeorgeDement [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons