In response to the spread of the Omicron variant, the Israeli Cabinet has approved the extension of the travel ban to 10 more countries, including the United States and Canada. Naftali Bennett’s office announced the decision following a vote by the Cabinet on Monday.
Banning travel to the US is a rare step in light of the rapid spread of the virus throughout the globe and a rise in infections in Israel, a country with high vaccination rates.
Once the parliamentary committee gives the decision a final approval, the travel ban will take effect from Wednesday midnight.
Several European countries, as well as the United States and Canada, will be added to the so-called travel red list, which would bar Israelis from traveling to these countries and require them to remain in quarantine for a particular period of time.
Below is a list of countries that Israel is extending its travel ban to:
The travel restrictions coincide with growing concerns regarding the speed of spread of the Omicron variant, which has now spread to at least 89 countries within a month of its discovery by South African and Botswanan researchers in November. Leading health experts, including White House medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci, are raising the alarm in light of the variant of disease sweeping the world.