All Israelis to be allowed to return from abroad

Coronavirus Cabinet decides to forgo 'exceptions committee' for Israelis returning from abroad despite Health Ministry warnings.

Tags: Coronavirus
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion Airport
צילום: Avshalom Sassoni/FLASH9

The Coronavirus Cabinet on Tuesday confirmed that Israelis will be able to return to Israel without the need for approval from an Exceptions Committee.

Unvaccinated Israelis who apply to leave Israel will still be required to obtain approval from the committee.

During the hearing, the head of the public health services at the Health Ministry, Dr. Sharon Elrai-Preis, warned that opening the skies without sufficient tools to enforce isolation would lead to the introduction into the country of vaccine-resistant strains of the coronavirus.

"We need a technological means to enforce the isolation. We do not want to find ourselves in a month's time asking 'how did we bring this variant into the country without supervision and allowed a catastrophe to happen here?' We'll all regret it. There are variants that can enter against which the vaccine would be independent, and the entire mass-vaccination program would be wasted," she said.

Following the decision, Blue and White chairman and Defense Minister Benny Gantz wrote on his Twitter account, "I welcome the demand of the Blue and White ministers to cancel the Ben Gurion Airport Exceptions Committee, to bring all Israelis abroad back before the election and to continue accepting all immigrants."

"In addition, as I suggested, vaccinated people will not need isolation but a negative test after landing and can also leave the country, thus continuing to encourage the 'vaccination-entering' outline and the vaccination effort. We are in the middle of a critical period and must not be complacent - so we demanded and approved it. We will continue to work for public health, assist through the defense establishment and ensure that the basic democratic rights of Israeli citizens are preserved," he added.