Israel bans almost all international air travel

Jan 25, 2021

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In response to the global spread of new strains of the novel coronavirus, Israel has opted to temporarily halt all international air travel.

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The government has closed the country’s main international airport Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, as of Monday, Jan. 25 and is currently scheduled to remain closed until Jan. 31.

Related: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

In a statement on Sunday, the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the move necessary to help stop the spread of new strains of the virus.

“We are closing the skies hermetically, except for really rare exceptions, to prevent the entry of virus mutations, and also to ensure that we progress quickly with our vaccination campaign,” Netanyahu said.

Exceptions will include cargo flights, firefighting flights and flights for emergency medical evacuation.

Related: From Tel Aviv to Dubai: Flying one of the most monumental inaugural flights of 2020

Israel‘s new temporary ban on almost all flights is one of the strictest measures currently in place around the world. However, other countries are also implementing similar measures. The U.K., for example, has banned travel from all of South America, Portugal and many parts of south Africa.

In places like New Zealand and Australia, tough measures on international flights have been in place since the early stages of the pandemic. Both countries have returned to an almost normal way of life.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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