Israel bans SA visitors amid new Covid-19 variant concerns

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Israel is banning visitors from SA over Covid-19 concerns.
Israel is banning visitors from SA over Covid-19 concerns.
PHOTO: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Israel on Sunday said it was barring entry to foreign citizens travelling from Britain, Denmark and South Africa after a new strain of coronavirus was detected in the three countries.

It also announced tough rules for Israelis returning home from those nations, saying that they would be confined in army-run hotels serving as quarantine centres, in a joint statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office and the health ministry.

The premier convened Israel's so-called corona cabinet "for an urgent discussion on the discovery of the new strain of coronavirus in several countries," according to the Hebrew-language statement.

It said that the panel approved "immediate action to prevent foreigners from entering Israel; at this stage from the United Kingdom, Denmark and South Africa."

It also decided that Israelis returning home from a stay in those countries would be obliged to enter quarantine in one of the empty hotels leased by the government at the beginning of the pandemic and run by the army civil defence corps.

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