Health Minister: Israel Not Considering Closing Ben Gurion Airport

YERUSHALAYIM -
The COVID-19 testing area at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Monday that Israeli health officials are not considering at this stage the closure of Ben Gurion Airport as a measure to fight the surge of coronavirus in the country.

Israel has recently reintroduced some health restrictions, which were lifted back in May following a successful vaccination campaign, as the country battles the Delta variant of COVID-19.

“We are not talking about closing down Ben Gurion Airport,” he said during a meeting with senior officials from the Health and Finance Ministries.

“Our approach has been and remains to take steps to curb the spread while minimizing the damage to the economy and maintaining the routine of the daily life,” he said.

“Yes, it is likely that more countries will soon enter the blacklist. There is no escape from this. Arrivals and departures from Israel will be closely monitored, but we will not close the airport, we are not talking about it.”

The meeting itself was apparently focused on bringing back the Green Pass mandate that is set to be discussed later in the week by the Coronavirus Cabinet.

Horowitz, in tandem with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, is expected to ask Cabinet ministers to approve the Green Pass outline proposed by the Health Ministry last week.

According to the outline, a Green Pass or a negative coronavirus test would have to be presented at entrances to mass events attended by more than 100 people. A Green Pass is issued to those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19.