Israel has suspended all international from entering into the country from 22:00 GMT, today, the government has announced. The suspension will last till the end of January.
According to a release by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, other than rare exceptions, Israel is closing her border ‘hermetically’ to prevent the entry of the COVID-19 variants and to ensure the nation progressed with the vaccination.
Israeli borders has largely closed its border to foreigners during the pandemic, with only passport holders allowed entry and it has been under a third national lockdown since December 27th.
However, Israel expanded its rapid vaccination drive on Sunday to include late teens in what the government described as an effort to enable upcoming exams. Israel has the fastest vaccine distribution rate in the world.
With regular imports of Pfizer vaccines, it has administered at least one dose to more than 25 per cent of its nine million populations since December 19th, the health ministry said.
Sharon Bershadsky, Director of the Israel Tourist Office in the UK, said: “Israel has shown itself to be a world-leader in the vaccination roll-out scheme, working hard to open its borders to tourists as soon as possible.
“With the new virus variants appearing across the world, the government has decided to close the borders in order to prevent entry of the new variants into the country and to allow for the continuation and the quick progress of the vaccination programme.
“While Israel’s borders have largely been closed for tourists throughout the pandemic, these measures will help ensure the eventual and most secure reopening of Israel’s borders for both Israelis and international tourists in due course.”