The so-called coronavirus cabinet approves barring entry to Israel for all foreign citizens arriving from the UK, Denmark and South Africa in an attempt to prevent the spread of new mutations of the virus that have been recorded in those countries.
Health officials are specifically concerned about the new coronavirus strain found in England, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said data suggests is up to 70 percent more transmissible.
Separately, a severe variant of the coronavirus has been detected in South Africa that could explain the rapid spread of a second wave that affects younger people, the South African health minister said Friday. Known as the 501.V2 Variant, it was identified by South African researchers and details have been sent to the World Health Organization.
And last month Denmark appeared to be the source of a mutation of the virus that had jumped from minks to humans.
Until now, foreign travelers have been allowed entry into Israel to attend Health Ministry-approved life-cycle events for first degree relatives, and several other reasons.