Knesset Panel Approves Fines for Non-Travelers Entering BG Airport

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli police officers on patrol at Ben Gurion airport to enforce the COVID-19 regulations. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee approved Tuesday new regulations that will prevent non-travelers from entering Ben-Gurion airport, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Under the new rules, only those leaving the country may enter the terminals, starting four hours before the flight and upon presenting their ticket at the door.

Minors who are traveling alone and people with disabilities are permitted to have someone accompany them in the airport.

Those who violate the rules are subject to a NIS 500 fine.

Some 34,000 people were expected to pass through Ben Gurion airport on Monday, of whom 16,500 were departing passengers.

About 2,900 passengers left for the United States Monday, another 2,700 went to Turkey for the Eid al-Adha, about 2,200 traveled to Greece and about 1,150 tourists left for Ukraine.

On Sunday, Health Ministry Director General Prof. Nachman Ash warned Israelis who wish to travel abroad that they may be required to quarantine upon their return as the government was reviewing the pandemic’s situation in different countries and urged avoiding unnecessary travel abroad.

“The rise in morbidity is global,” he said. “The risk of being infected abroad, both in the countries themselves and en route, is great. We do not want people to get infected on these trips and bring diseases to the country.

“I recommend to anyone planning a trip abroad to take into account that there may be policy changes once you’re back in Israel. Both when booking the tickets and when flying, it should be taken into account.”

Israel issued a travel warning to Britain, Cyprus, Turkey and Georgia last Friday and all travelers arriving from these destinations will have to self-isolate regardless of vaccination status. Starting July 30, these destinations will be designated as maximum-risk countries and traveling there will be prohibited and carry a NIS 5,000 fine.

Israel has also issued a travel warning to Uganda, Myanmar, Fiji, Panama, Cambodia, Kenya and Liberia.