Departure hall at Ben Gurion Airport was packed on Monday - 21,000 Israelis took off


by Ifi Reporter Category:Health Nov 29, 2021

The departure hall at Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion Airport was packed on Monday with people flying abroad. More than 21,000 Israelis took off from Israel on 130 flights to various destinations around the world. Although the list of countries banned from flying now includes 50 African countries, the Ministry of Health has already made it clear that it is considering expanding it to other countries, perhaps even Europe, but it seems that Israelis want to fly abroad - and no isolation or fear will deter them.
The coronavirus omicron strain led the government to introduce a series of new restrictions, and along with closing the skies to all foreigners for two weeks, a three-day home isolation obligation was also imposed on vaccinated and recovering returnees from the isolation. For isolation - in addition to the test that is performed immediately upon landing at Ben Gurion Airport - and if they do not pass it, they will be required to complete a full two-week isolation.

On Monday evening, the government imposed another and more severe sanction on vaccinated people who returned from abroad and refused to undergo a second PCR test: a fine of NIS 3,500. The Ministry of Health clarified that the relief that allows a quick antigen test as an alternative to the PCR test required before boarding a plane back to Israel will not be eliminated.
In addition, all returnees from red countries, which are all African countries except the countries of the North Continent, will be referred for isolation in hotels until adverse corona test results are obtained, and then will be required to continue with home isolation. All incoming flights from red states are directed to Terminal 1, to isolate passengers from other returnees. It was also decided that it would not be possible to leave Ben Gurion Airport via public transportation, except for taxis. Trains do not stop at Ben Gurion Airport. The bus lines from the airport to the rest of the country do not operate either.
Despite the instructions, the departing passenger hall was, as mentioned, crowded and crowded during our visit there today. Although the density is still far from the usual sights in the period before Corona, the queues were long and many clung to each other. Many in the departure hall from Ben Gurion Airport said that they considered canceling the flight, but finding out that they would not receive a full refund - decided to fly despite the fear of the new breed and the need for isolation in return.
While in the departure hall we saw congestion, at the exit gate from the field there is a slight decrease every day. The field is closed to foreigners, and Israelis returning to Israel must make their way to home isolation without public transportation, other than taxis.
Meanwhile, it was announced that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid went on a private vacation in Europe last Thursday despite the identification of Corona's new variant. Our reporter, Gili Cohen, reported in the evening news here at eleven o'clock that on the same day the emergency discussions in the Ministry of Health regarding the new strain began, and by the end, decisions had already been made. The next day, at a special press conference, Prime Minister Bennett recommended not to fly abroad. Lapid continued his vacation until his meeting last night for dinner with the British Foreign Secretary.
 Lapid's office said he went on a short vacation even before the new guidelines were published, and continued on Sunday to London for a business trip.



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