WORLD Israel cancels virus quarantine for some but stays shut to tourists

WORLD

Israel cancels virus quarantine for some but stays shut to tourists

AFP

07:22, August 17, 2020

Israel said Sunday that citizens, residents and foreign workers returning from 20 countries would be exempted from a 14-day coronavirus quarantine period, but kept its borders closed to tourists.

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Passengers wearing masks from the United States arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport near central Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Aug. 13, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

The health ministry's list of 20 "green" countries deemed to present a lower novel coronavirus risk includes the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Greece and Cyprus, as well as Canada, New Zealand, Rwanda, Jordan and Hong Kong.

"As of today, people returning from green countries are exempted from quarantine," the ministry said in a statement.

The measure only applies to Israeli citizens and foreigners with residency status or work visas, as the country's borders have yet to be reopened for regular tourism. 

The United States deemed to present a higher COVID-19 risk. Travellers from countries on this list are still required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Israel has over 92,000 COVID-19 cases to its nine million population, with fewer than 700 deaths. 

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