Israel imposes travel ban for Britain and Denmark

Israel has introduced restrictions over concern about spread of Omicron coronavirus variant

A market in Jerusalem in August. AFP
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Israel said on Sunday that it was adding Britain and Denmark to its "red list" of countries to which its citizens are banned from travelling, because of concern over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The travel restrictions for Britain and Denmark will go into effect on Wednesday, said Sharon Alroy-Preis, Israel's director of public health.

Ms Alroy-Preis also said Belgium would be included in the ban but the Health Ministry later announced that it had reassessed infection rates and decided to keep the country off the red list for now.

Israel has already banned the entry of foreigners to try to stem Covid-19 infection rates and has imposed isolation of between three and seven days for Israelis returning from abroad.

Ms Alroy-Preis said the "significant spread of the Omicron variant" abroad was the reason for imposing the new restrictions.

About 50 countries, mainly in Africa, have been declared red by Israel since the discovery of the highly contagious variant.

Health officials said there had been 55 confirmed cases of Omicron infection in Israel, which has been trying to accelerate its vaccination programme while considering stricter enforcement of rules on mask.

Updated: December 12, 2021, 10:42 PM