Israeli airlines are launching a massive airlift ahead of strict new quarantine measures set to begin on Wednesday. Israelis from the around world are rushing home in order to avoid mandatory hotel stays upon arrival.
New Israeli Quarantine Measures Go Into Effect On Wednesday
Israel will prohibit entry to foreign nationals and require a quarantine in a designated coronavirus hotel for all Israelis returning from abroad. The new policy goes into effect on Wednesday at 10:00PM. Passengers must quarantine for 14 days (10 days if they test negative twice).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed concern over the new mutant strain first noted in the United Kingdom at a cabinet meeting on Monday:
“I’ve asked to convene the cabinet for one purpose, and that is to close the sky…The mutation is spreading rapidly in many countries, and it is clear to us that we are at the onset of a very fast outbreak.”
Israeli Airlift Commences To Beat Quarantine
Per the Jerusalem Post, Israir will operate a dozen additional segments today to get Israelis home ahead of Wednesday. El Al, Arkia, and FlyDubai will as well.
El Al is waiving change fees for customers who choose to accelerate their departures to before December 23, 2021 in an attempt to get home:
Clients holding flight tickets can still change the date of their flight without paying any fees or alternatively, to freeze their tickets and use them at a later time, until December 31, 2021. Clients looking to return to Israel sooner than planned, until December 23, can do so without additional payment.
Oz Berlowitz, Vice President of Arkia Airlines, noted:
“Arkia is preparing to operate an airlift from Dubai in light of the many requests made by passengers looking to return before the quarantine guidelines comes into effect. The company is preparing to operate the airlift around the clock.”
The airlift will bring as many travelers home as possible. After Wednesday evening, incoming travelers will be compelled to quarantine at a designated hotel in a style similar to what Australia has required throughout the pandemic.
image: Djampa / Wikimedia Commons