Israel's ban on entry of foreigners extended to December 29
Restrictions on the entry of foreigners to Israel will continue for at least an additional week
Israel's government voted on Wednesday to extend a travel ban prohibiting foreigners from entering the country until at least December 29.
The travel restrictions were first implemented at the end of November to stem the spread of the omicron Covid variant in Israel.
Although the ban was originally instituted for a period of two weeks, Israel’s government voted on Wednesday to extend the restrictions for an additional week, according to The Times of Israel.
The initial regulations blocking the entry of foreign visitors drew outcry from workers in Israel’s tourism sector, and a number of industry employees and tour guides protested outside of Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport on Monday.
Demonstrators criticized the government for providing assistance to other industries hurt by the pandemic while neglecting the country’s tourism sector, and called for either compensation or a reopening of Israel’s skies.
On Wednesday night, Israel’s Health Ministry announced that it will additionally expand the state’s list of "red" countries, nations that Israel’s citizens are banned from traveling to.
The new additions to the list of Covid "red" countries include Norway, Ireland, Finland, France, and Spain, along with the United Arab Emirates.
Israelis returning to Israel from these "red" states must enter quarantine upon arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.