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Israel reopens skies to travelers as airport quota lifted

Passengers of Arkia flight 232 arriving from Frankfurt, are being processed with monitoring electronic bracelets upon their arrival at Ben Gurion airport. The Israeli Health Ministry has launched a pilot program offering returnees from abroad the possibility to isolate at home with monitoring devices instead of quarantining at hotels. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa
Passengers of Arkia flight 232 arriving from Frankfurt, are being processed with monitoring electronic bracelets upon their arrival at Ben Gurion airport. The Israeli Health Ministry has launched a pilot program offering returnees from abroad the possibility to isolate at home with monitoring devices instead of quarantining at hotels. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

dpa/GNA – Israel has lifted a Covid-19-related restriction imposed early this year that limited the number of people allowed to enter the country via its only international airport near Tel Aviv.

As of Sunday an unlimited number of people can now enter Israel on flights landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Passengers will also no longer have to measure their body temperatures on entering the terminal and before boarding.

Israel’s only border crossing with Egypt, at Taba in the Sinai close to the southern Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, will also open for the first time after one year, Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen tweeted.

The lifting of travel restrictions comes after Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the measures “violate the basic constitutional right to enter and exit Israel, and other rights at the core of the democratic fabric of life.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet had imposed the restrictions, including a quota of up to 3,000 daily entries, in a bid to prevent the entry of coronavirus variants.

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Ben Gurion International Airport was all but shut down in January, and as part of an easing of the shutdown, a quota of entries was introduced.

Unless it is too late to find and book flights, Israelis living or stranded abroad will now at least theoretically be able to vote in Tuesday’s parliamentary election.

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