With gov’t-approved flight plan, Israelis enjoy new travel destinations

With the government-approved airport-reopening plan set in motion, Israelis will now be able to — seemingly arbitrarily — travel to the cities of New York, Paris, Frankfurt and Kiev, enjoying, for the first time in a long time, some respite from the pandemic. Another possible destination location is London, N12 reported.These four cities are also currently the only ones where rescue flights can leave from, bringing Israelis home.There are currently a few countries — including Greece, Romania, Georgia, Serbia and the Seychelles Islands — that have announced that they will allow vaccinated Israelis to cross into their borders as soon as the skies open up, according to N12. Those who have not been vaccinated will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test, according to the report. Some countries, like the US and Morocco, currently have an airport policy consistent with what Ben-Gurion Airport’s used to be, which is to allow tourists in as long as they — including vaccinated individuals — can present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to boarding, N12 noted. Other countries who follow that policy as well include Dubai, Rwanda, Bulgaria, Turkey, South Africa and Ukraine, among others.

The plan, approved by the coronavirus cabinet on Tuesday, outlines a partial reopening of the skies, allowing for authorized flights to carry Israeli citizens in and out of Ben-Gurion Airport. According to the plan, starting on Sunday, to 3,000 Israelis will be able to enter the country without special permission from the governmental exemptions committee — if they are vaccinated, and will be required to get tested for the coronavirus once before the flight and again when they land. Those who are not vaccinated will to need to apply for permission. Ben-Gurion Airport is expected to reopen completely on March 14, N12 reported. The final number of approved flights, as well as in the travelers on them, will be ultimately determined by the Transportation Ministry. Transportation Minister Miri Regev (Likud) initially wished for the numbers of Israelis let in to the country to be 7,000, but the coronavirus cabinet cut that down to three 3,000. On Tuesday evening, Regev actually cut that number down even more, saying that only 1,000 Israelis will be let in, and no more than 1,200 will be let out daily, according to Ynet. Upon landing, citizens will be required to quarantine, either in their homes, or in hotels. Some 660 extra police officers will be assigned to ensure that quarantine requirements are being met, and will be aided by other technological means, such as electronic bracelets.  Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.

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