Knesset Committee Restricts Entry to and Departure From Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
People at the almost empty Ben Gurion International Airport, on Jan. 24. (Flash90)

​The Economic Affairs Committee chaired by MK Rabbi Yaakov Margi (Shas) approved on Wednesday amendments to regulations dealing with the restrictions on the entry to and departure from Israel due to the corona pandemic.

The main amendment, which goes into effect Wednesday, specifies that in addition to Israeli airline companies, American airline companies will also be permitted to operate flights between the two countries, in accordance with the aviation agreement between Israel and the U.S. The transportation minister, with the consent of the health minister and the foreign minister, will be authorized to approve emergency flights from additional places. In addition, cargo flights to Israel will not be able to depart the country as passenger flights, and vice versa.

The number of travelers allowed into the country will not exceed 2,000 a day, and the same number of people will be permitted to fly out of the country every day. The health minister will be authorized to cancel flights he considers a threat to the public’s health, following consultations with the foreign minister and the transportation minister.

Committee Chairman Rabbi Margi said during the meeting that the committee would not approve any additional regulations unless the government revokes the right of travelers who had agreed to be transferred to quarantine hotels upon arrival in Israel to file an appeal at Ben Gurion Airport. “We have detention cells at the airport. Those who refuse to be transferred to quarantine in a hotel can stay there,” he said.