Ben Gurion Airport to stay open for previously scheduled flights during lockdown
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Ben Gurion Airport to stay open for previously scheduled flights during lockdown

Airport won’t close, despite weeks-long closure set to start Friday, but flights beyond those already approved will not be added

El Al planes on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport on August 3, 2020. (Jack Guez/ AFP)
El Al planes on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport on August 3, 2020. (Jack Guez/ AFP)

Israel’s main air hub, Ben Gurion Airport, will remain open during the upcoming national lockdown and previously approved flights will go forward, ministers decided Monday.

Thus, Israelis who have already purchased tickets will be able to fly, while still available tickets can be sold. However, no new flights will be approved for the closure period.

Those traveling to the airport must hold a valid ticket to be allowed through police checkpoints.

New immigrants slated for arrival during the lockdown period will also be allowed into the country as planned.

Those flying out will continue to be required to provide negative virus test results, in accordance with the demands of their destination country.

Travelers head to the departure area at Ben Gurion Airport on August 17, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

With new infections running as high as 4,000 a day, Israeli ministers on Sunday approved a three-week nationwide lockdown over the upcoming Jewish holidays to contain the resurgent coronavirus outbreak.

The lockdown, bitterly opposed by many sectors of the workforce, and castigated by the opposition as proof of government failure, will take effect at 2 p.m. on Friday, hours before the start of Rosh Hashanah.

According to the latest Health Ministry figures, 1,108 Israelis have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with a record 513 people in serious condition and 206 in moderate condition.

There were 2,715 new cases confirmed on Saturday; rates are typically depressed over the weekend. Newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been rising steadily, to a record high of some 4,000 per day at the end of last week.

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