TEL AVIV, August 9. / TASS /. Israel’s Health Ministry decided from August 16 to remove Russia, Argentina, Belarus, the UK, India, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and South Africa from the list of countries that its citizens are banned from visiting amid the pandemic, the press service stated on Monday, noting that this decision should be approved by a commission of the Knesset (parliament).
According to the press service, the health ministry has formed two lists - ‘red’ and ‘yellow’. Brazil, Bulgaria, Georgia, Spain, Mexico and Turkey remain on the ‘red’ list, so, one should require permission from the Israeli authorities in order to visit these countries, otherwise, there will be a fine of 5,000 shekels ($1,500). Australia, Austria, Hungary, Hong Kong, China, Moldova, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and the Czech Republic will be put in a ‘yellow’ list in a week. Upon return to their homeland, the Israelis should self-isolate for 24 hours or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test. From August 16, 2021, all other countries, including Russia, will be assigned to the ‘orange’ list of countries that Israel’s residents are allowed to enter. However, after returning from the trip, a weekly quarantine is required even for those vaccinated or recovered, the press service said.
On July 30, the UK, Georgia, Cyprus and Turkey joined the ‘red’ list, which is constantly changing. The Israeli Health Ministry included Russia in the ‘red’ list of countries in terms of the threat of the COVID-19 spread on May 31.
On March 16, Israel’s authorities resumed flights that have been interrupted since late January 2021, however, only local citizens or those with a residence permit were allowed to enter the country. Since March 7, 2021, foreigners have been allowed to enter Israel in exceptional cases with a special permit, while since April 8, foreigners inoculated against COVID-19 have been allowed to visit their relatives in the country. On July 1, Israel was expected to open its borders to vaccinated tourists, but the decision has been postponed to August 1, and later, was put on indefinite hold.