Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday evening of a new rapidly spreading mutation of the coronavirus, saying the new variant of the virus necessitated new restrictions on travel from a number of countries where the virus has been detected.

Speaking at a press briefing Sunday evening following the close of a meeting of the Coronavirus Cabinet, Netanyahu explained the decision earlier Sunday to close most travel to Israel from Britain, Denmark and South Africa, following outbreaks of a new strain of the coronavirus.

“Yesterday we heard from officials in the World Health Organization about a new mutation of the coronavirus, and we heard also statements from the Prime Minister of Britain Boris Johnson about the spread of the mutated virus in his country.”

“I immediately convened a team of ministers last night to deliberate on the matter, and today convened the Coronavirus Cabinet to make some important decisions. According to the information we have, this mutation spreads much faster than the regular coronavirus, but it isn’t deadlier, and we have nothing showing that the vaccine we have in our possession won’t be effective on [the new strain]. That’s the information we have right now. We are following the issue closely, of course.”

Because of the new mutation, Netanyahu continued Israel “made the tough but necessary decision today to close all air travel from Britain, Denmark and South Africa to Israel. Those are the countries where the mutation has been detected.”

Any Israeli citizens returning from those countries “will go into isolation, and it is important that they be tested.”