COVID-19 cabinet approves removing most countries from no-fly list

Cabinet also affirms new outline for coronavirus in schools.

Travelers seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 22, 2021. (photo credit: FLASH90)
Travelers seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 22, 2021.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Dozens of countries will likely be removed from Israel’s no-fly “red” list on Wednesday at midnight, after the coronavirus cabinet approved a recommendation by the Health Ministry late Tuesday night.

If affirmed by the Knesset on Wednesday, the only red states will be the United States, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Hungary, South Africa, Nigeria, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Mexico - the latter which will be added to the list.

All other red countries, including Italy and Germany, will be removed.

The cabinet also agreed that people returning to Israel from red countries could isolate themselves at home so long as they sign an agreement that they will do so. If they refuse to sign, they will be taken to a coronavirus hotel.

 TRAVELERS ARRIVING at Ben-Gurion Airport head toward the COVID testing area. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90) TRAVELERS ARRIVING at Ben-Gurion Airport head toward the COVID testing area. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

At the same time, the cabinet voted to alter the original Omicron school outline. Elementary school students in red cities will not be required to learn from home unless a child is found infected in their class.

Fifth and sixth graders will be entitled to learn either from home or outside if a sick child is discovered. First through fourth graders will aim to do the same thing, but are not required to.

This new outline goes into effect immediately but lasts only until Sunday, January 9.

All of the decisions of the coronavirus cabinet must be approved by the Knesset on Wednesday.