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January 30, 2022 7:12 pm

Israel Weighs Ending Negative COVID-19 Test Requirements for Incoming Flights: Report

avatar by i24 News

A passenger arrives to a terminal at Ben Gurion international airport before Israel bans international flights, January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 News – Israel’s Health Ministry is considering abolishing the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to travel to the country, Channel 12 reported Sunday.

Currently, those traveling to Israel must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a negative antigen test taken 24 hours before boarding the flight.

The PCR test required for all travelers landing at Ben Gurion Airport will remain mandatory, the report from Channel 12 states.

Israel’s national airline El Al reportedly told Health Ministry officials that many countries globally do not require their citizens to show a negative test before traveling. However, it is not clear yet from the report if the new rules would apply to both citizens and non-citizens.

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According to the report, officials favored either amending or removing the measure altogether, adding that any changes to current restrictions would occur after the COVID morbidity drops in Israel.

El Al CEO Avigal Soreq said, “The State of Israel, like other Western countries, has made a decision to live alongside coronavirus,” according to The Times of Israel.

“In 2022, international aviation is not a luxury, but a part of everyone’s lives. The Western world, as well as the World Health Organization, recognize and understand that aviation is not a cause for further morbidity, and restrictions on movement between countries have been found to be an ineffective tool in preventing the spread of the virus,” he continued.

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