U.S. Adds Israel to Highest COVID Risk Level, Urges Americans to Avoid Travel

Israel reportedly also mulls adding the United States to its list of countries barred from traveling, fearing the spread of COVID variants

Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
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Passengers arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday.
Passengers arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on Monday added Israel to its highest risk level, advising U.S. citizens to avoid travel.

The CDC raised Israel to a "Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19" classification, advising American to ensure they are fully vaccinated before travelling if they must travel to Israel.

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It also warned that because of the current situation in Israel, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.

The recommendation includes the West Bank and Gaza, as well.

The CDC had previously classified Israel as a "level 3" country, advising Americans to avoid all nonessential travel.

The classification comes hours after reports emerged that Israel was considering adding the U.S. to its list of countries barred from travelling.

According to a Kan public broadcaster report, citing a source familiar with the matter, the subject has been frequently raised in recent discussions, but the Health Ministry has not yet come to a decision.

The ministry announced that the United States' travel status will be re-categorized as "COVID-19 Travel Warning" as of August 11, requiring all travelers arriving in Israel from it to quarantine regardless of vaccination status.

 The number of serious coronavirus cases in Israel has continued to climb as the government tightened restrictions in a bid to contain the outbreak of the delta variant across the country.

According to Health Ministry data released on Monday, the number of seriously-ill coronavirus patients climbed to 360. Overall coronavirus cases grew by 3,372, but the rate of positive tests remained steady at 3.87 percent. In comparison, during the last wave of the pandemic the rate was 9 percent.

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