Only 2,300 foreigners visited Israel in May amid virus entry restrictions
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Only 2,300 foreigners visited Israel in May amid virus entry restrictions

Central Bureau of Statistics also says 8,300 Israelis traveled abroad last month, up from 2,700 departures in April

Illustrative: Israeli travelers who had been stranded in South America, arrive at Ben Gurion airport on March 23, 2020, from Sao Paolo via New York. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Illustrative: Israeli travelers who had been stranded in South America, arrive at Ben Gurion airport on March 23, 2020, from Sao Paolo via New York. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Only 2,300 non-Israelis entered the country in May, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, amid continued restrictions on travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of visitors to Israel has fallen precipitously since the government barred non-nationals from entering the country on March 18, even if they had the ability to self-quarantine for two weeks, as entering Israelis had to.

An exception was made for those whose “center of life” is in the country.

The CBS said the travelers who entered Israel in May included 100 people who visited for the day, while the rest were classified as tourists.

It did not specify why those people received permission to enter the country or what kind of visas they had.

The CBS said almost all those who entered Israel in May did so through Ben Gurion Airport.

In May 2019, there were 466,000 visitors to the country.

The government in February started banning flights from China and a rapidly growing list of other countries hit hard by the virus, eventually calling off almost all commercial flights save for special missions to return Israelis stranded abroad to the country.

The CBS also said Thursday that 8,300 Israelis traveled outside the country in May, including 600 who live abroad but were visiting Israel.

Though far fewer than the 656,000 Israelis who traveled overseas in May 2019, the number of citizens who went abroad last month was higher than in April, when there were 2,700 departures.

There were no details on where those who left in May traveled to.

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