Israel ending PCR tests at Ben Gurion Airport from May 20

i24NEWS

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Medical technicians test passengers for Covid-19 at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on March 8, 2021.
Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90Medical technicians test passengers for Covid-19 at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on March 8, 2021.

Decision made in light of declining morbidity figures

Israel's Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett agreed on Sunday to cancel PCR screening tests for travelers landing at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport from May 20. 

The decision was made in light of declining morbidity figures and following discussions between professionals from the Health Ministry and officials from the Airports Authority.

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"Professionals will work out a mechanism to maintain the fitness of the test system at Ben Gurion Airport, to allow it to be quickly reactivated, at least in part, if necessary," a statement said.

Additionally, Horowitz and MK Gilad Kariv, chair of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in Israel's parliament (Knesset), agreed that starting on Tuesday foreigners flying to Israel will be allowed to take a rapid antigen test instead of a PCR test before departure.

Tourists opting to take an antigen test will be required to administer the test within 24 hours of taking off for Israel. 

The decision to nix PCR testing follows an appeal last month from the former coronavirus chief who said the tests were no longer needed and were only detecting a "low percentage" of daily infections.

Also last month, the government ended the requirement to wear a mask indoors, citing falling morbidity. 

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