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Health Ministry issues travel warning for Namibia over COVID infection rates

Officials warn that if the situation in ‘high risk’ countries does not improve, they will be added to the list of destinations banned for travel by Israelis

Israelis and vaccinated tourists wearing masks for COVID-19 protection arrive to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on May 23, 2021, after a partial re-opening of the border to inoculated tourists from 14 countries. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
Israelis and vaccinated tourists wearing masks for COVID-19 protection arrive to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on May 23, 2021, after a partial re-opening of the border to inoculated tourists from 14 countries. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The Health Ministry added Namibia on Sunday to the list of countries with a severe COVID travel warning, but stopped short of placing it on the list of countries Israelis are banned from visiting.

Namibia joins Uruguay, Seychelles, Bolivia, Maldives, Nepal, Paraguay and Chile as countries that Israelis are warned against traveling to due to their high rates of COVID-19.

The Health Ministry warned that if the situation in those countries does not improve, they could be added to the list of those countries to which Israelis are barred from traveling. Those countries are currently Ukraine, Argentina, Ethiopia, Brazil, India, South Africa, Mexico, Russia and Turkey.

Israelis who wish to travel to any of those nations must submit a request to the Exceptions Committee, and anyone who returns from those countries — including those who have been vaccinated — must quarantine for 14 days.

Travelers at the Ben Gurion International Airport, on May 7, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

The Health Ministry said Sunday morning that just four new COVID cases had been confirmed in Israel over the past 24 hours out of 7,575 tests. As of Sunday morning, there were just 230 active cases in the entire country.

The numbers were announced as Israel kicked off on Sunday its campaign to vaccinate those aged 12-15.

Last Tuesday, the last of a series of restrictions in place for over a year lapsed as case numbers continued to fall.

The only major restrictions remaining are the mandate requiring masks to be worn indoors, expected to be lifted soon as well, and quarantine requirements for those entering the country.

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