Israelis still going abroad, but Omicron puts new trips in holding pattern

Few Israelis are canceling travel plans in the wake of new quarantine rules for those entering the country set to go into effect in several hours as officials scramble to contain the worrying Omicron variant of the coronavirus, according to the head of the Israeli branch of travel solutions firm Amadeus.

Avishay Cohen tells the Ynet news site that there have been fewer than 10 percent of trips canceled by Israelis since South African officials raised the alarm about the variant late last week.

However, he notes that there has been about a 50% drop in the number of new trips being booked.

“Everyone is waiting to get more verified information about changes and new guidelines on the ground,” he says.

Starting Sunday night at midnight, vaccinated Israelis will be required to enter quarantine for 72 hours and take another COVID test on the third day after they arrive. Unvaccinated travelers must remain in quarantine for at least a week, and can leave isolation upon receiving a negative test result conducted on the seventh day.

Cohen says November initially saw a return to normal pre-pandemic tourism numbers.



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