Israel adds US, 9 other countries on COVID-19 red list

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on Monday said the Israeli government had approved the ban of all non-essential travel to ten countries, including the United States, to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus strain.

The countries include Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey.

“The cabinet ministers have now approved (in a telephone vote) the expansion of the list of red countries, in accordance with the recommendation of the Health Ministry State Classification Committee, pursuant to a discussion that was held yesterday at the Cabinet meeting,” the Office said.

The red list’s expansion has to be approved by the parliament’s legal committee. If approved, it will take effect on Wednesday.

After the Omicron variant was detected in late November, Israel banned travel from 50 African countries as well as Denmark and the United Kingdom.

The red list was eventually expanded to include Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

Israeli borders are to remain closed to foreigners until Dec. 29.

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