Israel temporarily closes borders to prevent spread of Omicron strain: Prime Minister
Tel Aviv/UNI/Sputnik: Israel is banning the entry of foreigners for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus strain, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett informs.
The decision to close the borders for 14 days to foreigners from all countries was made at a COVID-19 cabinet meeting on Saturday night, according to the prime minister's office.
Israeli citizens returning from abroad will be required to get tested for the coronavirus at the airport.
They will then need to self-isolate, after which they will be required to get tested again.
The quarantine will last three days for those who had been vaccinated or who had had the COVID-19 infection in the past.
For unvaccinated Israelis the mandatory quarantine upon arrival will be seven days if the second test comes back negative and 14 days without the second test.
Israeli citizens arriving from most African countries will need to self-isolate in special hotels. All people who test positive for the Omicron strain will be monitored.
A case of the Omicron coronavirus variant was registered in Israel on Friday.
Several other suspected cases are pending confirmation as the patients await their test results.
On Friday, the WHO identified the new South African strain as one of concern, since it may be more transmissible and dangerous.
Cases of the new variant have been confirmed in Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic.