Israel’s Travel Ban to ‘Red’ Countries May Be Lifted for Dual Citizens

YERUSHALAYIM -
Travelers seen at Ben Gurion Airport. (Flash90)

Dual citizens who work abroad or have first-degree relatives outside the country will be able to get an exception to travel even if the country of destination is “red” and on Israel’s no-fly list, after a vote is expected on Wednesday by the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

The decision would enable thousands of American- and British-Israelis who work abroad but immigrated to Israel to continue to support their families. Since Israel started labeling countries “red” again, Israelis were told that they could not travel to them without applying through a special exceptions committee. However, there was no exemption for work and hence no way for these individuals to travel.

Moreover, immigrants were unable to visit their first-degree relatives unless there was a humanitarian emergency, in most cases. Now, life-cycle events – births, weddings, bar and bas mitzvahs, for example – would be considered acceptable reasons to leave Israel for a “red” destination.

The government late Tuesday night affirmed the recommendation of the Health Ministry to remove several countries from the no-fly list, but the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and 12 other popular destinations remain on the list.

Travelers will still have to apply to leave Israel and quarantine will still be required.