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June 19, 2021 11:11 am

Some 1,000 Travelers Allowed into Israel without COVID Test Due to Long Lines

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avatar by i24 News

Travelers at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on April 18, 2021. Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90

i24 News – Israel’s Health Ministry on Friday temporarily suspended COVID-19 testing requirements for arriving travelers due to overcrowding in lines at the airport.

Airport authorities said that only vaccinated individuals arriving from countries considered to have low infection rates were allowed to enter Israel without a PCR test, Israeli public broadcaster Kan News reported.

Normally, all non-resident travelers arriving in Israel must be tested and quarantined until the results are available.

At least 1,000 people entered the country on Friday without being tested on arrival, Kan News noted.

People arriving from countries classified as a risk due to high infection rates – including Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico and Russia – were required to have a PCR test and wait at the airport even if they showed proof of vaccination, according to reports.

The ministry estimates that keeping several hundred people gathered in one place waiting could be more dangerous than exempting travelers from testing.

“Additional staff were then mobilized to carry out more testing. Early next week, the number of testing stations and employees will increase,” the ministry said.

Tourists will be able to come to Israel from July 1 if no increase in COVID-19 cases is recorded by then.

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