Israel is to close its borders to all foreigners later Sunday in a bid to stem the spread of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, authorities said, IgbereTV reports.
“The entry of foreign nationals into Israel is banned except for cases approved by a special committee,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, adding that the measure would take effect on Sunday evening.
Israeli citizens will be required to present a negative PCR test and quarantine themselves for three days if they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus and seven days if they have not.
It was only four weeks ago that Israel reopened its borders to foreign tourists after a prolonged closure due to Covid.
The measure were decided by a cabinet committee tasked with overseeing Israel’s Covid response and must be approved by the whole cabinet on Sunday morning.
The government’s latest announcement came just hours before the start at sundown of the eight-day-long Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.
It already imposed a series of emergency measures late Friday to protect its heavily vaccinated population after identifying a case of the new Covid-19 variant