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Germany declares Israel a high-risk travel destination amid virus surge – report

Israeli travelers to the EU country will need to quarantine unless they are vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19; Berlin also adds US, Turkey, Montenegro and Vietnam to list

Illustrative photo of travelers at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport on August 5, 2021 (Avshalom Sassoni/FLASH90)
Illustrative photo of travelers at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport on August 5, 2021 (Avshalom Sassoni/FLASH90)

Germany has added Israel to its list of high-risk travel destinations, along with the United States and Turkey, due to a surging coronavirus outbreak, it was reported Friday.

Montenegro and Vietnam are also now considered high risk by the German government, said the Reuters news agency citing the FUNKE media group’s reporting based on government sources.

Travelers to Germany from high-risk countries are required to quarantine for ten days unless they are vaccinated against the coronavirus or have recovered from COVID-19.

The self-isolation can be shortened to five days with a negative test.

The downgrade will take effect on Sunday, with the exception of Turkey which will be delayed until Tuesday due to the large number of Turkish-origin residents of Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to visit Israel this month but the trip has remained unconfirmed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In this March 30, 2021, file photo, German federal police officers check passengers arriving from Palma de Mallorca for a negative Corona test as they arrive at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)

Last month, the US Centers for Disease Control raised its travel alert level in Israel due to rising coronavirus cases.

Israel is now listed by the CDC at Level 3, the second highest, due to the rate of new daily cases per capita. A notice on the CDC website said travelers to Israel should be fully vaccinated and that anyone who is not should avoid non-essential trips.

Israel widened its vaccination booster campaign on Friday to include all those aged over 50 as Health Ministry data showed no signs of the virus outbreak slowing.

According to the latest figures on Friday morning, 462 people are in serious condition from COVID-19.

Health Ministry data showed that among unvaccinated Israelis aged 60-plus, there are 120.9 people per 100,000 in serious condition. Among the vaccinated the figure is 19.1 and the partially vaccinated figure was 45.3.

An Israeli medic administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus to a woman at a Clalit Health Services station set up inside the Cinema City complex in Jerusalem, on August 11, 2021 (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

There were 6,083 people diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday with a further 1,431 since midnight.

There were 44,188 active coronavirus cases in Israel, with 758 hospitalized patients in total. With seven overnight fatalities, the death toll rose to 6,611.

The government has been seeking ways to cut the spread of the virus without resorting to the drastic measure of a lockdown.

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