Ben-Gurion Airport amends COVID-19 rules to solve understaffing issues

Queues at Ben-Gurion have become so long that people are being told to arrive hours before their flights.

With more countries being declared ‘red,’ travelers converge on Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday. (photo credit: FLASH90)
With more countries being declared ‘red,’ travelers converge on Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

The Knesset Economy Committee approved amendments to the COVID-19 regulations at Ben-Gurion Airport in an effort to alleviate some of the current overload.

In the past couple of months, the airport has been experiencing problems of understaffing along with a rising numbers of passengers, which has led to extra long queues, stress and even to many fights. Passengers have been instructed to arrive at the airport as much as four hours in advance as opposed to the regular two and a half in order to ensure that they do not miss their flights.

The first amendment to the regulations cancels the ban on non-essential people entering the airport. When the airport reopened, only passengers and airport employees were allowed inside, and everyone else was barred from entering by attendants. Now the attendants will be able to help deal with passengers and speeding up the check in process.

This is important because the airport has reported that many employees who were sent on leave because of COVID did not come back, and it has been left understaffed. The amendment will ensure that the airport utilizes its employees to the maximum.

Another amendment approved by the committee was to create a uniform set of rules regarding COVID testing for people entering the country both by air and by sea.

 PASSENGERS CHECK IN at Ben-Gurion Airport. (credit: FLASH90) PASSENGERS CHECK IN at Ben-Gurion Airport. (credit: FLASH90)

"We wish everyone a safe and comfortable flight and ask of the Airports Authority employees, despite the stress, to show sensitivity and humanity especially to the incoming refugees," said Economy Committee Chairman MK Michael Biton.