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Ministers okay lifting ban on travel to Ethiopia, Turkey and Ukraine

Countries’ removal from list of COVID-hit nations will take effect on June 14

Travelers in the departures hall at Ben Gurion Airport on April 18, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Travelers in the departures hall at Ben Gurion Airport on April 18, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Government ministers on Friday voted to lift a travel ban on several countries that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective Monday, June 14, Israelis will no longer be barred from visiting Ethiopia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The countries that will still be subject to the travel ban are Argentina, Brazil, India, South Africa, Mexico and Russia. Israelis seeking to travel to any of those countries must submit a request to the Exceptions Committee, and anyone who returns from those nations — including those who have been vaccinated — must quarantine for 14 days.

Israel also has travel warnings in place for Namibia, Uruguay, Seychelles, Bolivia, Maldives, Nepal, Paraguay and Chile.

During Friday’s vote, ministers also approved extending regulations on leaving the country until June 27, according to a government statement.

The moves come as Israel plans to begin allowing vaccinated foreign tourists to visit the country at the start of the next month. On June 15, the indoor mask mandate is set to be lifted, though television reports this week indicated the ordinance could remain in place at hospitals and senior living facilities.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said 18 new coronavirus cases were confirmed Thursday, with just 0.1 percent of the 19,050 performed coming back positive.

The ministry said there were 222 active infections, including 33 people who are seriously ill.

The death toll stood at 6,428, with 839,650 cases confirmed since the pandemic began.

The pandemic has largely receded in Israel, with daily caseloads plummeting from the thousands seen at the start of the year to just single and low double digits,

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