Israel lifts travel ban on 8 countries, including South Africa
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The Israeli government has lifted its travel ban on eight countries, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health.
The eight countries are Uzbekistan, Argentina, Belarus, South Africa, the UK, Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus and Russia, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement issued on Monday as saying.
The existing ban on Israelis flying to Brazil, Georgia, Mexico, Spain and Turkey will remain valid, while Bulgaria was added to the ban list due to the recent Covid-19 morbidity rise in the country.
Israeli citizens and permanent residents who want to travel to the six countries must apply to an exceptions committee.
Also starting from Monday, all arrivals to Israel from most of the countries were required to enter a seven-day home quarantine, including vaccinated and recovered travellers.
This does not include China, Austria, Australia, Hungary, Moldova, New Zealand, Singapore and the Czech Republic, where the morbidity levels are significantly low.
Thus, those arriving in Israel from the eight countries must enter quarantine of only 24 hours at most, until a negative result is obtained from a Covid-19 test.
Meanwhile, the UK's red list that prohibits travel to certain countries, including South Africa, has sparked concern for SA’s tourism sector.
IOL Travel reported that a petition by Ben Cope to remove South Africa from the travel red list has been started, with signatures slowly filling up.
The petition has already received more than 20 000 signatures.
"The government should urgently review its travel policy towards South Africa to ensure it is fully aligned with the latest scientific evidence, and therefore remove South Africa from the travel 'Red List'.
"Red list travel restrictions to southern Africa are unfair and are inflicting real social, environmental and economic hardship on families, businesses and ecosystems with no scientific justification given, and should therefore be removed," the petition states (sic).