Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni / Flash 90
A smattering of passengers in the arrivals hall at Ben Gurion International Airport, March 8, 2021.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has used a travel advisory warning Americans not to visit Israel, which it lumped together with the Palestinian Authority and Gaza.

“Travelers should avoid all travel to Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza,” the advisory said.

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“Because of the current situation in Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza (italics added) even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza. If you must travel to Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travelers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands.”

Even fully vaccinated Americans were advised to avoid Israel, Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and Hamas-run Gaza. But Israel is not yet welcoming non-citizens into the country anyway, so the warning is a bit redundant.

The “current situation” is, however, radically different in Israel than it is from areas in the Palestinian Authority territories, where the government is still facing great difficulty in getting control over the spreading virus.

Coronavirus vaccines are available to all Israelis ages 16 and up, and more than 100,000 Palestinian Authority citizens who travel to work in Israel daily have also been inoculated by the Jewish State.

More than half of Israel is completely inoculated against the deadly virus and the number of active COVID-19 cases has dropped to its lowest level since June 2020.

At this point, all cultural hotspots, malls, shopping centers, restaurants, gyms and sports venues have reopened in the Jewish State, albeit some of them still with some restrictions.

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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.
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