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Bennett orders southern Africa be labeled ‘red’ over virus mutant worries

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ordered that countries in southern Africa be labeled as “red,” heavily restricting entry following the emergence of a new, highly mutable coronavirus variant in South Africa, his office says.

Israelis are banned from traveling to countries labeled as red, and those entering must quarantine for 14 days unless they have been vaccinated or recovered from the virus.

Bennett “also instructed that an immediate evaluation be held on stopping flights from these countries to Israel and vice versa, or the implementation of a different plan to prevent the variant from spreading to Israel,” the PMO says.

The decisions come following a consultation with top health officials. Another meeting is planning for later Thursday night, Bennett’s office says.

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