The ban on entry of foreigners into Israel has been extended until at least August 1, a spokesperson for the Airports Authority confirmed.
A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that “we had never set a date. The original announcement said it was until a new decision [was made]. There is no new decision.”
However, a spokesperson for the Airports Authority confirmed for the Post that the airlines were updated on Thursday via a letter from the authority. The statement read, “Passengers from all countries who are not Israeli citizens or residents are not permitted to enter the State of Israel, including transit flights, other than passengers who have a designated permit from the Population and Immigration Authority.”
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Jerusalem. During the visit, Netanyahu said Israel was looking to open up to Greek and Cypriot visitors starting August 1. However, since that date, the infection rate in Israel has surged.
Foreign entry into Israel has been prohibited with few exceptions since mid-March as the coronavirus spread across the state and the world. The Interior Ministry updated the list of exceptions earlier this month. It includes first-degree relatives entering Israel for weddings and funerals or other special occasions, as well as some foreign workers and some students.
Anyone who enters Israel from abroad must enter 14 days of quarantine.
Although the Airports Authority and Ben-Gurion Airport have completed all preparations to achieve the “Blue Ribbon” required by the Health Ministry to resume flights, the ministry has procrastinated in taking any action to open Israel’s skies, people familiar with the matter told The Jerusalem Post.