Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tested negative for COVID on Sunday after his daughter was infected by the virus, forcing him to leave a cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights to enter quarantine.
Bennett had already tested negative for COVID earlier on Sunday, after it was discovered a staffer from the Prime Minister's Office was infected with coronavirus. Despite a second negative result, Bennett will remain in isolation as a precaution.
As a result of Bennett's abrupt exit, Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar is convening the cabinet meeting.
- Israel's attorney general gives nod to sanctions on unvaccinated against COVID
- First omicron case detected in Gaza, says Palestinian Health Ministry
- Omicron in Israel: 25 percent spike in serious cases in past week
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's wife and children flew abroad at the start of the month for vacation, despite the premier imploring Israelis to avoid travel due to concerns over the spread of omicron.
Responding to public criticism, Bennett said that his family must abide by the same rules as all of Israel's citizens.
"I understand the criticism, but in recent days we've learned more about the [omicron] variant and in which countries it's spreading. The coronavirus cabinet decided to which countries travel is allowed and under what conditions."
On Saturday, Israel confirmed 591 new cases of the omicron variant, according to the Health Ministry, more than doubling the total number of confirmed carriers in the country, which now stands at 1,118 – up from 527 on Friday morning.
There are 861 other confirmed COVID cases in people known to have been exposed to an omicron carrier, but who are awaiting lab results to confirm whether they have omicron.