Gamzu Approves Entry of 17,000 Students Into Israel

A bachur walk makes his way to his yeshivah in Tzfas, last year, on Rosh Chodesh Elul. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Coronavirus task-force manager Prof. Roni Gamzu held discussions with the relevant authorities Sunday in order to make a decision to approve the entry into Israel of 17,000 students who are coming to Israel for a long period within the coming months.

It should be noted that the decision to allow yeshivah students and other students to enter the country only applies to institutions which commit to abide by the quarantine conditions of 14 days in capsules (groups) of up to six students, and which have approval from the Health Ministry. To date, 31 institutions out of 183 have applied.

The discussions took place with Yitzchak Herzog, chairman of the Jewish Agency, Prof. Shlomo Mor Yosef, head of the Population Authority, Dr. Ashi Salmon from the Health Ministry, and representatives of the Council for Higher Education.

According to the data presented at the meeting, this involves  university studies for up to about 2,000 students; up to about 12,000 yeshivah students; up to 5,000 participants in the Masa projects; about 500 participants in the Na’ala project and about 1,500 in private institutions.

The Health Ministry will ensure that conditions are met in institutions that allow for proper quarantine and will obligate the directors of the institutions to commit to rules. Violation of the conditions is a violation of the conditions of the stay in Israel and all that implies, both toward the student and towards the institution.

In order to ensure that there is no deviation in any institution, Prof. Gamzu instructed the Health Ministry to conduct regular checks, and will recruit inspectors for this purpose,

It is not possible at the moment to estimate how and when all the students will arrive, but it is clear that it is not expected to be immediate or all together, but throughout the year, depending on the plan of each institution.

Some yeshivos have instructed their students to deposit a check of $1,500, which will be cashed if the student violates any of the regulations and used to purchase for them an immediate flight back home.