Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
Arriving travelers in Ben Gurion International Airport, April 11, 2018.

People arriving from abroad at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport will no longer be able to take any form of public transportation – such as a bus or train – to exit the airport, effective Sunday at midnight, the Ministry of Transportation announced.

The newest restriction comes after a second case of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has been confirmed in the Jewish State. The infected woman, age 32, had been vaccinated three times and returned to Israel recently from South Africa, according to a report by Channel 13 News.

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New arrivals will only be able to leave the airport via private vehicle or taxi.

“The idea is that those in quarantine won’t be able to take public transportation from the airport,” Israeli Health Ministry Director-General Professor Nachman Ash said in an interview with Galei Tzahal Army Radio. “Everyone will need to take a car or a taxi by themselves or with family.”

Thus far, passengers leaving Israel will still be able to arrive at the airport via bus, train or shared taxi, although it is not yet clear how long that will remain in force. To encourage the use of private vehicles in both directions the price of long-term parking tickets is to be reduced by 50 percent.

Arrivals from overseas – countries that are not on the “red” list – will be required to enter self-quarantine for a minimum 72 hours; two negative PCR tests will be necessary in order to leave quarantine, including the first one carried out upon arrival at the airport.

Those arriving from “red” listed countries (with high infection rates) will be required to undergo quarantine in state-run hotels, in accordance with a restriction that went into effect at 6 pm Sunday evening.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.