Interior Ministry Eases Travel Ban for Israelis Abroad

YERUSHALAYIM -
A traveler at Ben Gurion Airport, on Wednesday. (Flash90)

The latest adjustment in Covid travel restrictions was announced on Thursday evening, to make it easier for Israelis living abroad.

The revised rules will allow Israelis who claim that their primary residence is abroad to return to Israel after a period of 30 days, down from the previous requirement of 90 days minimum, Ynet reported.

The decision, approved by Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked on Thursday came in response to a barrage of complaints that the work of the committee charged with reviewing special permission requests was slow and disorganized, and that the requirement to sign a commitment that they would not return to Israel before three months was unduly burdensome.

Israel imposed a travel ban on “red” countries in Africa, Europe and the U.S. on Tuesday, in an effort to contain the Omicron variant. Israelis wishing to travel to red countries had to obtain special permission from the Interior Ministry.

Knesset Member Yomtob Kalfon (Yamina) raised the issue at the Knesset Constitution Committee, arguing that the 90-day ban was unreasonable.

“Why does a mother who works abroad, and has a 4-year-old child in Israel, have to leave here for 90 days?” he asked referring to the case of a woman who works in France, but her family lives in Israel.

Complaints cited the length of time before approval was given, missing forms and misleading information on the government’s website.