The demand to close Ben Gurion airport is prompted by the invasion of new covid-19 mutants – first the UK variant and now the appearance of the South African strain believed prevalent in Dubai. The Ministry of Health is backed by PM Binyamin Netanyahu in demanding the airport’s closure. The UAE has become a favorite Israeli destination since the onset of normal relations. Since Sunday morning, all arrivals in Israel from the UAE, the African continent, Central and South America and parts of the Far East are being directed to government quarantine quarters upon landing.
Also on Sunday, the UAE informed the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that visa exemptions for Israeli travelers, due to go into effect next month, are suspended until July 1 due to efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. Would-be travelers must now get their passports stamped with visas in advance while booking trips to the emirate.