Photo Credit: Flash 90
Medical technicians test passengers for COVID-19 at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on March 8, 2021.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held an additional consultation Thursday night (Nov. 25) to address the risks presenting from the recently-discovered coronavirus variant B.1.1529 identified in South Africa.

The following decisions were made:


• The following countries have been declared at this stage as “red countries”: South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini.

Foreign nationals from the above countries will not be permitted to enter Israel, Israeli officials decided.

• All those returning from these countries, including those vaccinated with a third vaccine, will be required to undergo isolation in coronavirus hotels for seven days, and will be released after undergoing two PCR tests that have a negative result.

Incoming travelers who refuse to be checked will be obligated to undergo 14 days of isolation at the coronavirus hotel, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a communique.

“Prime Minister Bennett will carry out regular situation assessments on the B.1.1529 variant together with professionals from the Ministry of Health, with the aim of closely monitoring the outbreak of the new variant and prevent its spread in Israel,” the PMO said in its statement.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.