Israel extends COVID-19 border closure to March 6
Published: 11:52 AM, 19 February 2021 Updated: 11:52 AM, 19 February 2021
Authorities in Israel on Thursday extended the suspension of its airports and land borders for 14 more days in a bid to stem the coronavirus pandemic while the closure was previously in effect until February 21.
A joint statement from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Health Minister said the country’s borders will remain closed until March 6, except for urgent reasons.
Israel had suspended international flights on January 24, before also closing the border crossings with Jordan and Egypt.
However, the Immigration Ministry on Thursday said that six special flights were still authorized to land, carrying some 900 immigrants from Ethiopia, France, Russia, Ukraine, and South America.
The new arrivals will be subject to quarantine upon arrival, the ministry said in a statement.
Despite what has been termed the world’s fastest vaccination campaign per capita, Israel has been registering a daily average of 4,000 new COVID-19 cases, down from around 8,000 in mid-January, official figures show.
A strict nationwide lockdown was imposed on December 27 and extended four times to combat the infection rate.
According to the latest figures from the health ministry, Israel, with a population of nine million, has registered more than 741,000 cases of COVID-19, including 5,501 deaths.