Israel expanded on Monday its travel ban to ten new countries, including the United States, Canada and Germany, as data reveals that almost a fifth of last week's COVID cases came from abroad.
Israel's cabinet expanded the list of so-called "red countries" to include the U.S., Canada, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Turkey and Switzerland. The ban will come into effect Tuesday at midnight.
Travel to and from so-called "red countries" is expressly forbidden, unless permission is granted by a special committee. Those who return from the blacklisted countries must enter a seven-day quarantine.
Out of 5,787 new coronavirus cases in the past week, 877 – comprising some 15 percent of the infections – came from abroad.
On Sunday, 10 percent of a flight from Miami tested positive for COVID, with most of 17 cases suspected of carrying the omicron variant.
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The Health Ministry, meanwhile, announced that it discovered 40 new omicron cases, bringing the total cases of the variant to 175.
Assessments presented to Bennett on Saturday predicted that the number of omicron cases in Israel will reach 400 to 600 over the next week, in light of the number of cases that cannot be traced back to people who traveled abroad.