Omicron variant, Israel closes borders for 2 weeks

New restrictions to deal with the variant

Omicron variant, the State of Israel has approved new restrictions to combat the new variant of the coronavirus. The government has decided to close the borders for two weeks by banning foreigners from entering the country, unless they receive special permission from a government committee. The Times of Israel writes it explaining that the new rules will go into effect tonight. The government also has also expanded mandatory quarantine for vaccinated Israelis arriving from abroad and gave the green light to security agency Shin Bet to resume monitoring of infected people, according to Jewish media reports.

Vaccinated Israelis – who under existing rules were required to take a coronavirus test on arrival at the airport and remain in solitary confinement until they received a negative result – will now have to go into quarantine for 72 hours and take another test on third day after their arrival. Unvaccinated travelers will instead have to remain in quarantine for at least a week and will be able to leave isolation only after receiving a negative test result conducted on the seventh day.

The Israelis from high-risk “red” countries will have to be quarantined in hotels chosen by the state until they receive a negative virus test result. During last night’s government meeting, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel must be cautious and minimize risks due to uncertainty about the new omicron variant of the coronavirus.