Entry Restrictions Extended to June 15

The empty incoming flights hall at the Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

While the Israeli economy gradually reopens, the restrictions on incoming airline passengers were extended on Thursday.

The Airports Authority notified all airlines that the order requiring returning Israelis to self-isolate for 14 days when returning from abroad and the complete ban on non-Israeli passport holders entering the country will be extended from May 30 until at least June 15, The Times of Israel reported.

It was not immediately clear how the decision would affect plans announced by a number of airlines, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Delta, which recently said they intend to resume flights to Israel next month.

Also on Thursday, El Al Airlines said it will extend suspension of its passenger flights until June 20 at least.

The carrier has so far not come to an agreement on terms for state loan guarantees of $400 million, for which El Al will have to commit to austere economizing measures. The airline has said that without such assistance it will experience financial collapse, and Israel will be without a national airline.

The duty free chain James Richardson, which operates the main duty free stores at Ben Gurion airport announced layoffs of 200 employees out of a total workforce of 1,000.

James Richardson said, “The influence of the coronavirus on tourism is understood by everybody and this is a sad day for the entire sector.”