Omicron: Israel adds U.S., 9 others to red list


The Israeli government has approved the ban of all non-essential travel to 10 countries including the United States to prevent the spread of the Omicron coronavirus strain.

The countries include Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Israeli Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the development on Monday.

“The cabinet ministers have now approved (in a telephone vote) the expansion of the list of red countries, in accordance with the recommendation of the Health Ministry State Classification Committee, pursuant to a discussion that was held yesterday at the Cabinet meeting,” the Office said.

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The red list’s expansion has to be approved by the parliament’s legal committee. If approved, it will take effect on Wednesday.

After the Omicron variant was detected in late November, Israel banned travel from 50 African countries as well as Denmark and the United Kingdom.

The red list was expanded to include Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates.

Israeli borders are to remain closed to foreigners until Dec. 29.

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