Passenger on Bennett’s return flight from UAE tests positive for COVID

Bennett is triple vaccinated. He followed all coronavirus restrictions during his travels, his office said.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting, December 5, 2021.  (photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/HAARETZ)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting, December 5, 2021.
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/HAARETZ)

A person infected with coronavirus traveled from the United Arab Emirates to Israel on the same plane as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his delegation, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Bennett and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met on Monday for the first time. Bennett returned to Israel to enter isolation late Monday night.

The prime minister and his delegation were already in quarantine when they were informed of the positive traveler. They had taken a PCR test at the airport and are slated to perform another one on Wednesday, as per the country’s travel regulations.

However, Tuesday evening, Bennett decided that he and his delegation would take extra precaution and test a third time on Thursday and only leave isolation after a third negative result.   

It is still unknown if the traveler was carrying the Omicron variant. It could take several days to complete genetic sequencing.

Upon learning about the positive case, the PMO contacted the Health Ministry for detailed instructions, it said. 

Bennett is triple vaccinated. He followed all coronavirus restrictions during his travels, his office said.

Naftali Bennett shakes hands with the UAE’s leader Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)Naftali Bennett shakes hands with the UAE’s leader Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

The news of the infected person came as the country is experiencing a slight increase in new daily cases and amid fears of the Omicron variant, which entered Israel two weeks ago. The variant is known to be more contagious and more vaccine-resistant than its Delta predecessor.

There were 744 new cases diagnosed on Sunday, the Health Ministry said Monday. On the same day last week, there were only 495 new cases.

However, the number of serious cases continues to decline. There were 90 serious cases on Monday morning, including 48 who were intubated.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.