A passenger gets out of the airport in Tel Aviv. (Image for Representation/Reuters)
TEL AVIV: Israel is to ban foreigners from entering the country for 14 days and use surveillance to halt the spread of the new Covid strain, BBC has said quoting local media.
The ban is expected to come into effect at midnight on Sunday, following full cabinet approval, it said.
Israel has so far confirmed one case of the potentially more infectious Omicron strain first detected in South Africa.
Many countries have since banned travel to South Africa and its neighbours.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the new variant is “of concern”, with early evidence suggesting a higher re-infection risk.
However, the WHO has warned against countries hastily imposing travel restrictions, saying they should look to a “risk-based and scientific approach”.
In addition to the entry ban for non-Israelis, a three-day mandatory quarantine would be required for all vaccinated Israeli nationals, and a seven-day quarantine for those who have not been vaccinated, BCC reported.
The cabinet also authorised surveillance of confirmed coronavirus patients by the Israel’s Shin Bet security agency.
Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli authorities had put 50 African nations on the so-called “red” list.
All Israeli nationals returning from those countries must quarantine in the government-approved hotels and undergo Covid tests.
(With inputs from BBC)