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Israel adds 9 countries that don’t require quarantine on return, including UAE

Decision comes hours before first Israeli commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi; also on list: Australia, Uruguay, Ireland, Taiwan, Norway, Singapore, Portugal and Thailand

The pool and beach at the Atlantis Hotel with the skyline of the Dubai Marina visible in the distance in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
The pool and beach at the Atlantis Hotel with the skyline of the Dubai Marina visible in the distance in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

The Health Ministry exempted Israelis returning from nine additional countries with low COVID-19 rates from a mandatory 14-day quarantine from midnight Sunday, including from the United Arab Emirates.

The other eight countries are: Australia, Uruguay, Ireland, Taiwan, Norway, Singapore, Portugal and Thailand.

The inclusion of the UAE comes hours before a US-Israeli delegation set to take the first-ever Israeli commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi to put the recently agreed Israeli-UAE normalization deal into practice.

The decision to include the UAE means that delegation members will not need to quarantine upon their return.

The US delegation will be headed by US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, as well as special envoy for international negotiations Avi Berkowitz.

The Israeli delegation would be led by National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and will likely focus on civilian issues, possibly including visa regulations that will allow Israeli tourists to visit.

Israel has already recognized 20 so called “green” counrtries:  Canada, Austria, Estonia, Italy, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Georgia, Germany, Denmark, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jordan, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Slovenia, Finland, Cyprus and Croatia.

The list will now be updated every two weeks, the ministry said, adding that Israel was also examining the possibility of reopening the border with Egypt.

The Taba border crossing between Israel and Egypt (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
The Taba border crossing between Israel and Egypt (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Israelis will be required to complete a health declaration upon leaving and entering the Jewish state.

While the the list now includes some 29 nations, very few countries currently allow travelers from Israel to enter.

Greece, Croatia and Bulgaria are allowing Israelis to enter their territories without automatic isolation, but with some other restrictions.

Israelis need to present a negative coronavirus test from within the previous 72 hours upon arrival in Bulgaria and within 48 hours for Croatia. Neither country will require a test upon landing, nor any isolation.

Greece has stricter rules, with just 600 Israeli tourists allowed to visit per week, and only to four locations: Athens, Crete, Thessaloniki, and Corfu.

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