Ayelet Shaked: 'Skies closed, government does nothing'

Former Justice Minister warns world will get used to working without Israel if skies remain closed.

Hezki Baruch ,

Flash 90

Former Justice Minister Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked wonders why Israeli citizens cannot fly abroad and why Ben Gurion Airport is still closed to citizens from other countries.

"The Israeli government has gone to sleep again," Shaked said. "The skies have been closed for many months. This is a very serious blow to the Israeli economy, the high-tech industry, the ability to do business. The world will get used to working without Israel," she warned.

Shaked says countries have opened their skies with special arrangements: "In Germany, for example, there's a laboratory at the airport; those arriving from a red country can do a test in the field, get an answer within three hours, and if it's negative, he's free to go on his way.

"But the Israeli government, as usual, isn't doing anything. Doesn't set up a lab, doesn't make agreements. Spreads out the time. The livelihood of tens of thousands of people depends on it and the government is asleep."

Shaked added: "The time to set up the laboratory at Ben Gurion Airport and present to the public a plan to open the skies was two weeks ago. Wake up."

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed Minister of Tourism Miri Regev to prepare an outline for airplane trips from Israel to Cyprus, Greece, and other "green" states with low coronavirus morbidity rates.

In turn, Regev instructed the Ministry of Transportation, Civil Aviation Authority and National Aviation Network to quickly arrange an outline for reopening the skies with the Ministry of Health and National Security Council for approval by the Coronavirus Cabinet.

According to the operating plan formulated by the Ministry of Transportation, incoming passengers will be divided into those arriving from "green" and "red" countries, with those from "green" countries defined as having a low morbidity rate, required to quarantine for a period of just five days upon landing, and those from "red," or high-risk countries, obliged to perform a virus check prior to boarding.

The outlined plan will be presented for the Prime Minister's approval following discussions with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and arrangement with the Directorate of Transportation and Health, National Security Council and Civil Aviation Authority. Fulfillment of the intended proposal will be dependent upon the existing morbidity rate in the country.

The Ministry of Health is currently examining the plan and is expected to submit an expert conclusion. This will allow a final outline for operating flights during the pandemic to be drafted.