In response to the Omicron variant, Israel and Morocco impose bans on all foreign travelers – .

In response to the Omicron variant, Israel and Morocco impose bans on all foreign travelers – .

Israelis returning from countries classified as “red,” at high risk of infection, including most African countries, must enter a quarantine hotel until they test negative at the airport , then be transferred to home quarantine (until they get 7 days). PCR test result).

Ran Balicer, the chairman of an expert group advising the Israeli government on the response to Covid-19, said the decision was temporary and was taken out of caution because most countries are unlikely to yet be able to detect the variant.

Japan has yet to report any cases of the new variant, although it is investigating a case involving a traveler from Namibia. So far, Israel has identified at least one confirmed case of Omicron – a woman who arrived from Malawi – and tests have provided clues to several more likely cases in the country.

Israel only recently emerged from a fourth wave of the virus, when it recorded one of the world’s highest daily case rates of the Delta strain. Officials attributed the containment of this outbreak to a rapid rollout of booster injections that began in August, after Israeli scientists detected decreased immunity in people five or six months after receiving their second injection. from Pfizer.

In an effort to anticipate the next crisis, the Israeli government this month hosted an exercise codenamed “Omega” to test nationwide preparations for the emergence of a deadly new variant of Covid.

Israel’s policy against Covid is now to try to keep the economy completely open and avoid internal blockages, while strictly controlling borders.

But the reimposed entry restrictions abruptly upset the vacation plans of foreign tourists. Esther Block of London has been waiting for almost two years to visit lifelong friends in Israel, one of whom is now 87. “We were due to come when Israel was first locked down,” Ms. Block, 57, said. “And we have been postponing since. “


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