Israel delays planned entry of individual tourists

Tel Aviv: Israel has postponed the planned entry of individual tourists for at least a month until August 1 after a recent rise in daily Covid-19 cases in the country, the government said.

The announcement by the office of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday came just a day after he said that Israel is facing a new coronavirus outbreak fuelled by the Delta variant, reports Xinhua news agency.

Under a Health Ministry guideline, Israel began reopening its borders in May to groups of vaccinated tourists and planned to begin reopening to individual tourists on July 1.

Groups of vaccinated tourists will still be allowed to arrive in Israel, according to the statement.

Also on Wednesday, the government approved the renewal of the work of the Coronavirus Cabinet.

“In order to protect the State of Israel from the global outbreak of the Delta variant while maintaining a proper daily routine for the citizens of Israel, the government approved the establishment and composition of the Coronavirus Cabinet,” said the government statement.

Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of the public health services at the Health Ministry, said during a briefing on Wednesday that 891 coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in Israel over the past month and about half of them were fully vaccinated.

Some 55 per cent of Israel’s 9 million population have been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the Ministry.