The Israeli Prime Minister's Office has announced that the Israeli government will ban all non-essential flight trips to the United States and nine other countries over the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 strain.
The office said it would put in place the prohibition of travels to these countries on Wednesday if the Parliament approved it, which was in its bid to curtail the variant of the coronavirus.
The countries added to the red list by Naftali Bennett-led government include Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey.
“The cabinet ministers have now approved (in a telephone vote) the expansion of the list of red countries, in accordance with the recommendation of the Health Ministry State Classification Committee, pursuant to a discussion that was held yesterday at the Cabinet meeting,” the Office said.
The red list’s expansion has to be approved by the parliament’s legal committee. If approved, it will take effect on Wednesday.
After the Omicron variant was detected in late November, Israel banned travel from 50 African countries as well as Denmark and the United Kingdom.
On Wednesday, the red list was expanded to include Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.
Israeli borders are to remain closed to foreigners until December 29.