COVID in Israel: Airport Now Fully Prepared for Summer Travel, Minister Says

As Israel sets up new COVID measures to deal with influx of arrivals, health minister promises to issue fines to Israelis returning from banned countries

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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People queue to get tested for COVID in Ben-Gurion Airport, last month.
People queue to get tested for COVID in Ben-Gurion Airport, last month. Credit: Hadas Parush
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

New measures installed at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport aim to bolster protection against the coronavirus for incoming travelers, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Monday. 

"We've doubled the number of testing sites [at the airport], eliminating the long queues," Horowitz said, speaking during a visit to Ben-Gurion Airport. 

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"This tent, which has been set up in conjunction with the defense ministry, is a solution to the influx of flights we're going to see in the next few months. I am pleased with the collaboration between the ministries, and it will continue." 

Serious coronavirus cases in Israel over the last month.Credit: Israeli Health Ministry

Authorities also announced closing the loophole which allowed Israelis to fly to countries with a dangerously high coronavirus infection rate, though Israelis are technically forbidden to enter them. 

"Fines will be issued to anyone who enters these countries, and inspectors will be enforcing this," Horowitz said. 

Number of daily new coronavirus cases over last month.Credit: Israeli Health Ministry

"We've also improved the testing system significantly, with test results being processed and returned in less than a day." 

Israel recorded 423 new coronavirus cases on Sunday; 47 are in serious condition. 0.8 percent of tests conducted returned positive. 

As Israel's weekly infection rate continues to climb, Israeli officials are weighing scrapping coronavirus regulations, treating it as a regular illness, the health ministry said Sunday. 

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