Israeli ministers on Monday agreed to ban travel to the US, Canada and eight other countries over the spread of the contagious Omicron variant.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office announced the new additions to the “no-fly” list following a Cabinet vote on Monday.
Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal Switzerland and Turkey were also voted to be added to the roster, which now includes more than 50 countries.
A parliamentary committee is expected to give final approval to the measure. Once authorized, the restrictions are set to go into effect at midnight on Tuesday evening.
Under the ban, Israelis would need special permission to fly to countries on the list.
Upon their return, Israelis are required to enter quarantine in state-run hotels until their first COVID-19 test comes back negative, after which they can leave, but must quarantine at home for seven days, the Times of Israel reported.
In a prime-time address on Sunday, Bennett said travel restrictions preventing foreigners from entering the country have limited the spread of Omicron, but it was only a matter of time before the numbers rise.
“The fifth wave has begun,” he said.
Israel has detected 134 confirmed Omicron cases and another 307 suspected cases, the Health Ministry said.
With Post Wires