Israel’s tourism workers protest omicron travel restrictions
The protesting tour guides asked for Israel to reopen its skies or compensate the industry
Tour guides demonstrated outside Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport on Monday to protest the government’s Covid restrictions on international travel.
Israel’s government implemented several travel rules in order to stem the spread of the omicron variant, including closing the borders to foreigners in an effort to contain the outbreak.
Returning Israelis must also enter quarantine after arriving from abroad, regardless of their vaccination status.
The protestors at the airport called on Israel’s government to either reopen Israel’s skies, or provide compensation to those in the tourist industry hurt by the move.
“I have a profession, I want to work in it and I can work in it - but the government has decided that it be shut down,” a demonstrator told Walla.
He criticized the government for providing assistance to other industries hurt by the pandemic while neglecting the tourism sector, arguing that “inbound tourism is forgotten.”
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During a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israel’s Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said “As for travel agents and tour guides, it should be said: Start changing professions,” according to The Jerusalem Post (The Post).
The minister later clarified that he only meant those in the travel industry should “find other work,” adding that “My wording could have been more successful, but the numbers are undeniable,” The Post reported.
There are currently 55 people diagnosed with the omicron variant of Covid in the country.