Israel closes borders for all foreigners due to omikron variant

Israel is setting entry ban for all foreigners in an attempt to stop the spread of the omikron variant of the coronavirus. The measure takes effect on Sunday to Monday night and in principle lasts two weeks. Israel is the first country to close its borders completely due to the new coronavirus variant.

Also, residents of Israel who return from abroad must compulsory quarantine for three days, report Israeli media. The measure also applies to vaccinated Israelis. After three days of isolation, they must test themselves negative for the coronavirus in order to lift the quarantine. Unvaccinated Israelis are only allowed to leave quarantine after seven days and a negative test.

In Israel, one infection with omikron has so far been detected. Seven other infections are still being investigated.

In addition, the Israeli government has given approval to track mobile phones of infected Israelis. A special technology from the domestic security service Shin Bet can be traced where someone has been in recent days and who that person has been in contact with. The technology was also used during an earlier corona wave.

More entry restrictions

The omikron variant of the coronavirus has caused concern and unrest worldwide, although little is still known about the new mutation. The mutation was first discovered in South Africa. European countries, including the Netherlands, have therefore imposed a flight ban for countries in southern Africa.

In Belgium, Germany and Italy, among others, the variant has emerged. In most cases, it involved individuals who have recently been to the south of Africa.

In the Netherlands, according to the RIVM, a number of people are probably infected with the variant. It concerns individuals who flew to Schiphol from South Africa on Friday. 61 passengers tested positive for the coronavirus. After further investigation, it was found that an abnormality was found in the so-called spike protein. Later today, it becomes clear whether this concerns the omikron variant.

In the meantime, several countries are also tightening the entry rules for the Netherlands, due to concerns about the omikron variant. For a visit to Switzerland, the Dutch will now have to present a negative test and ten days in quarantine. The United Kingdom, where two omikron infections are known, is demanding a negative test from all travellers to gain access to the country.