Committee approves move to allow unlimited numbers of people to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, cancels requirement for prior approval from Exceptions Committee. Ministers reopen Egypt-Israel crossing.
The ministerial committee tasked with management of the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday evening approved via telephone vote an amendment to the current aviation guidelines.
The amendment, made in accordance with a recent Supreme Court ruling, allows the 3,000-arrival per day limit to expire at midnight Sunday morning.
The amendment will go into effect on at midnight on Sunday, March 21, and will last until March 28.
Instead of the government limiting the number of people allowed to arrive in Israel daily, the limit will be set by the capacity of Ben Gurion International Airport, which must now meet the coronavirus testing and social distancing requirements set by the government.
Flights will be allowed without prior approval from the Exceptions Committee, and the limits on flights arriving in Israel as cargo flights and exiting the country as passenger flights will be lifted. In addition, the requirement to measure the body temperatures of those entering the terminal prior to boarding their flights will be canceled, in line with guidelines for the rest of Israel’s economy.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is concerned that reopening Israel’s skies will allow the entry of dangerous coronavirus variants, raising the infection rate and potentially undoing the gains Israel has made with its extensive vaccination campaign.
Also on Saturday evening, Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) and Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen (Blue and White) agreed that the Taba Crossing between Israel and Egypt will be reopened in the coming days to allow travelers into Sinai, in a fashion similar to the one in place at Ben Gurion Airport.
Those returning from Egypt will be required to test for coronavirus.