Israel’s primary international airport, Ben Gurion Airport, was shuttered overnight, as the ban on air travel went into effect.
On Sunday, the government voted to impose a near-total ban on incoming and outgoing air travel, starting at midnight between Monday and Tuesday, and lasting till at least the end of the month, with the government expected to extend the ban to two weeks.
The travel ban bars nearly all passenger flights to and from Israel, with special exceptions to be considered by a committee. Only private charter flights will be permitted for passengers who manage to secure approval from the Exceptions Committee.
Cargo planes will still be permitted to land in Israel to unload or pick up goods, and foreign flights passing through Israeli air space will still be allowed to do so.
The Israeli Health Ministry is set to deliberate Tuesday on how to implement the travel ban with regard to Israel’s land crossings, after it was found that large numbers of Israelis looking to return home have changed their destination to Jordan, with plans to cross back into Israel by land.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to meet with senior health officials to examine the possibility of extending the current lockdown by an additional week, based on the recommendation of the Health Ministry.
“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for a deliberation with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, the National Security Advisor, the Health Minister Director-General, the Coronavirus Director, and other senior officials,” the Prime Minister’s Office announced Tuesday.
“The meeting will focus on cutting the infection rates, the rate of vaccinations, the effects of the mutations on the infection situation, and dates for ending the lockdown, along with other subjects.”