Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Israel bars travelers from Africa as new COVID variant puts country ‘on the verge of a state of emergency’

(JTA) — Israel announced a temporarily entry ban for foreigners arriving from Africa following the detection of a resistant coronavirus variant that is sparking global concern.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday announced the ban affecting travel from and to seven African countries. “We are currently on the verge of a state of emergency,” Bennett said.

The variant detected in Israel, which prompted the ban, harbors a large number of the mutations found in other variants, including Delta, and it seems to be spreading quickly across South Africa.

It is worrisome to countries around the world in part because early evidence suggests that it may be highly transmissible and because the number of mutations raises questions about whether it may evade vaccines and other efforts to contain the pandemic, now nearly two years old.

Israel has consistently reached pandemic milestones, both positive and less so, before other countries. On Friday, it imposed the travel ban several hours before the United States and the European Union announced similar moves.

The B.1.1.529 variant, which will be called Omicron, “arrived at a very complicated time,” Bennett said at a press conference yesterday, referencing the holiday of Hanukkah and the prevalence of wintertime strains of flu.

Israel has recorded 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 8,000 fatalities since the pandemic began. Around 43% of Israel’s population of 9.4 million have received three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.


The post Israel bars travelers from Africa as new COVID variant puts country ‘on the verge of a state of emergency’ appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.