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As COVID-19 cases spike, Israel goes back into temporary lockdown while airport remains open

Sept. 14, 2020
3 min read
As COVID-19 cases spike, Israel goes back into temporary lockdown while airport remains open
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Mere weeks after the Israeli government reopened the country's economy, COVID threatens to shut down Israel again.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a second lockdown Sunday night September 13 for a temporary period of three weeks, declaring that the country's sudden spike in cases had led “health services to raise a red flag." Netanyahu assured the people that Israel's economy was still in good shape, and stated that the second wave was typical of many other countries worldwide which had reopened their economies.

Related: Where can Americans travel right now?

The country started out strong with a proactive approach to the pandemic. Back in March, Israel was one of the first worldwide to issue blanket quarantines to all incoming arrivals, regardless of nationality. This included Israeli nationals, which greatly contributed to Israel flattening its infection curve to around 50 new cases per day in early May. Cases quickly spiked once businesses, schools and houses of worship reopened, however, leading to a second wave of patients.

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Now, as the first Israeli hospital prepares to turn away patients due to overcrowding and cases continue to rise to historic highs, the cabinet voted to put the economy back on a temporary three-week lockdown.

Related: A country-by-country guide to global reopenings

Under the terms of this latest quarantine, residents across the country would have to observe the following guidelines:

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  • People are restricted from traveling beyond a 500-meter radius from their houses
  • Group gatherings will be limited to 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors
  • Markets and pharmacies will remain open
  • Authorities have not yet decided if houses of worship will be closed down as well

Notably, Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport (TLV) will remain open after some initial uncertainty. Israelis departing TLV must be able to show their tickets four hours before their flight in order to leave the 500-meter house quarantine perimeter without violating the terms of lockdown. Returning travelers can enter freely without quarantine when returning from "green" countries, while travelers entering Israel after passing through "red" countries must observe a 14-day quarantine at home upon arrival. The full list of approved countries can be found here.

The decision to implement a second lockdown has been met with significant controversy from individuals and business owners alike, as the lockdown dates coincide with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, two of the biggest Jewish holidays of the year.

Related: In a historic event, an El Al flight lands in Abu Dhabi for the first time

Related: Etihad just made the first-ever known airline flight from the United Arab Emirates to Israel

Netanyahu also drew ire from critics for flying to the U.S. immediately after making his announcement, where Israel and the UAE are signing a historic peace-brokering agreement.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees