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Health chief warns travel restrictions possible for Europe amid COVID outbreaks

Health Minister Director-General Nachman Ash speaks during a meeting at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on October 24, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Health Minister Director-General Nachman Ash speaks during a meeting at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on October 24, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Israel’s top health official suggests COVID-related travel restrictions could be imposed on some European countries due to rising infection levels in a number of countries.

“We may return to classifying some countries as red, and then it will be prohibited to travel to them,” Nachman Ash, director-general of the Health Ministry, tells the Ynet news site.

Ash doesn’t specify on which countries health officials may recommend reimposing travel restrictions.

He says that there’s “no intention” to bar the entry of tourists or reimpose sweeping restrictions on travel abroad. He adds that currently the number of infected travelers among arrivals at Ben Gurion Airport is low.

Ash attributes the current coronavirus outbreaks in Europe to the declining effectiveness of vaccination against COVID-19 over time.

“I have no doubt about it,” he says.

He also says in the interview that “as long as the disease exists in certain places in the world… then there is a danger of bringing morbidity.”

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