On November 20th, Chaim V’Chessed issued a travel advisory, recommending that foreigners living in Israel carefully weigh potential plans for travel out of Israel. Today, those concerns have become stark reality.
At this hour, there is extreme uncertainty for all travelers – foreign and Israeli alike – regarding travel to Israel. As we reported earlier today, Israeli authorities have immediately halted entry to all foreigners from the following countries: United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, South Africa and Brazil. Included are those abroad who have already received entry permits. Chaim V’Chessed was inundated today by calls from Israeli residents who found themselves in England at the time of this sudden decision; unfortunately we have no solution at the time for these callers.
Furthermore, even foreigners with flights connecting in the UK are being prevented from boarding flights to Israel.
It is possible that travelers from the UK who seek to enter Israel via a different country will be allowed to take off to Israel. This situation may change shortly, as authorities are considering shutting down this route, as well.
Chaim V’Chessed has learned that, as of this morning, authorities have ceased issuing entry permits to student visa holders. Cessation of entry permits for Simchas, medical emergencies, and deaths is under consideration at this moment. Moreover, the Corona Cabinet is presently meeting to consider the cessation of all flights to Israel, including for Israeli citizens.
Due to this volatile situation, Chaim V’Chessed strongly discourages non-citizens from leaving Israel if they wish to return in the coming days. Even Israeli passport holders should seriously reconsider travel plans, as there exists a real possibility of all flights being suspended.
In a related move, all travelers on flights from England that landed in Ben Gurion this afternoon were re-routed to Terminal One, where the passengers were taken against their will to quarantine hotels. Passengers who refused to cooperate are being threatened with return to England at this hour. (It remains unclear whether passengers who have already recovered from Covid will be required to quarantine as well.)
Chaim V’Chessed is keeping abreast of this developing situation and will issue updates as they become available.