Israel Drops Red List, Opening Travel to US, UK
i24 News – Israel ended restrictions on international travel, effective since midnight between Thursday and Friday, opening the skies to travelers from the US and other countries.
All countries were dropped from the state’s “red list” of banned destinations due to the COVID-19 infection rate in Israel being so high as to make the measures obsolete.
An influx of the omicron variant spiked Israel’s R figure — the number of people infected by an individual with the virus, and an indication of the spread of infection — to 1.99.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned health officials to prepare for 4,000 patients in serious condition, although experts are anticipating 1,000 to 2,500 as a likely figure.
Health officials estimate that the number of people infected daily in Israel will climb from the current figure of 16,000 to 50,000 within a week, and then will decline due to the onset of herd immunity.
This assessment remains to be confirmed however, with some experts urging caution still.
The nations moved from the ‘red list’ to orange status are the US, the UK, Switzerland, the UAE, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria and Turkey.
Separately, the Israeli government also decided from Sunday to end the school ‘traffic light’ system of restrictions in an effort to ease the burden on teachers and students.
Due to the increased transmissibility, and the apparent reduction in severity of symptoms, exhibited by omicron governments globally are scrambling to adapt to the newest twist in the COVID-19 pandemic.