August holidays are ruled out

HOLIDAYMAKERS hoping to visit Israel next month are likely to be disappointed.

For health chiefs in Jerusalem said this week that vaccinated tourists will not be allowed to enter Israel on August 1 as had been previously planned.

No new date was set.

Health ministry director-general Professor Nachman Ash said: “Unfortunately, the current situation does not permit us to allow tourists to enter.”

He also warned the public that with the Delta variant raging around the world, “this is not a time to fly abroad”.

He said that the authorities are examining how to restrict travel for Israelis, either by expanding the list of countries under the travel ban or severe travel warning, or by other means.

Channel 12 reported that among options being considered was shutting the airport for non- essential travelling — but this was later denied by Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “Anyone who violates the guidelines endangers his health and the health of the rest of the citizens of Israel. We will not allow this.

“Implementing regulations is a critical element in fighting the pandemic to defeat the mutation.”

It was decided that verified coronavirus carriers who breach isolation will be criminally charged.

In addition, Bennett instructed the ministry and the attorney-general to regulate the legal aspect of employing technological tools to monitor those in quarantine.

These include allowing the police to verify the location of individuals in isolation through an SMS system.

It was announced that priority in enforcement will be given to weddings and other events considered to be a high risk of spreading infections.

Meanwhile, Israel on Wednesday reported that 1,400 people tested positive for Covid-19 a day earlier and that 150 of them — a little over 10 per cent — came from abroad, the website Ynet reported.

The health ministry said that at least 63 people are in serious condition, of whom 12 are ventilated.

A hundred and thirty of the newly-diagnosed cases arrived from countries that are not considered to be high-risk.

At least 35 returned from Greece, 15 from America, 15 from Cyprus, 12 from Turkey, 10 from Georgia and five from the United Kingdom.

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