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Israel: Air travel to parts of Europe may be prohibited

Air travel for Israeli tourists to several countries in Europe may stop soon – a senior official in the Ministry of Health estimates in a conversation with the newspaper Israel Hayom.

In the past week, many European countries have experienced an increase in morbidity due to corona, and over the weekend the Netherlands and Austria entered a partial closure.

Although currently there is no country defined as a “red” country according to Israel (the Netherlands and Austria are defined as “orange countries” for which there is a travel warning), later this week the Ministry of Health will conduct a reassessment of the disease in various countries.

“The considerations for declaring a country red are what happens in that country and how many arrive from it,” the senior official explained.

“We look at the issue every week, and towards the end of the week there will be a decision. For those planning a trip to Europe – travel is currently permitted, but I recommend to anyone who flies to protect himself and make sure to wear a mask. I think it would be a mistake to take unvaccinated children abroad. There is a travel warning for all orange countries, a clear statement that it is not worth traveling, but there is no ban on traveling. In practice, this does not deter people.”

Regarding tourists that entered Israel in the past week as part of the tourism outline, the senior official said: “The number of verified in the country has not increased in the last week since we opened to tourism.”

On Austria’s decision, a lockdown on the unvaccinated, the senior official says:

“We did not consider it in Israel. I do not know if it can work here because it requires very strict enforcement. They would have to check whether every person on the street is vaccinated. It is problematic, and I do not like it. The increase in morbidity in Europe is mainly due to reduced vaccine effectiveness among those who have been vaccinated twice and for whom it has been six months since their second vaccination.”

Today, the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Nachman Ash, is expected to complete the signing of the permission to start vaccination of children aged 5 to 11, and the vaccination campaign is expected to take place over the next two weeks, depending on the arrival of the vaccines.

According to the senior official at the Ministry of Health, the order for the vaccines from Pfizer was made a long time ago.

The vaccination campaign will start at the HMOs and not at the schools.

According to the senior official,

“The main mass will be in the HMOs. In the schools, we will be vaccinating in places where there is a demand – when there is parental consent and in places where there seems to be a great response. The main part will be in the HMOs. In the past there was partial success with vaccination in schools in the general sector, there were some vaccinators. Today, our emphasis is more on the Arab and haredi sectors.”

Source: Arutz Sheva