8 Israeli passengers without travel permits removed from flight

Tel Aviv: Eight Israeli passengers were removed from a flight to Russia after they tried to use foreign passports to circumvent the government’s ban on all citizens from travelling to a country with high-risk for COVID-19.

Following their removal from the flight on Tuesday evening, eight people were handed over to the Israeli police for further investigation, said a joint statement issued by the Health Ministry and the Population and Immigration Authority.

The Israeli government currently lists six countries, including Russia, as high-risk destinations for COVID-19 and forbids Israelis from visiting unless they get a special permit, reports Xinhua news agency.

The other five countries are Mexico, India, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. Anyone returning from any of those nations, including those already vaccinated, must quarantine at home for 14 days.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had said that Israel was considering completely banning entry from countries with high Covid-19 infection rates.