Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital News
Passengers queue at Israel's Ben Gurion airport to board a plane out of the virus-hit country ahead of the government's decision to slap restrictions on all outgoing flights


Israel restricts outgoing flights to bolster virus lockdown

Passengers queue at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport to board a plane out of the virus-hit country ahead of the government’s decision to slap restrictions on all outgoing flights © AFP / Ahmad GHARABLI

Tel Aviv, Israel, Sep 25 – The Israeli government slapped restrictions on outgoing flights on Friday as part of a slew of measures to bolster a second coronavirus lockdown imposed last week.

The new measures, which came into force at 1100 GMT and affect workplaces, synagogues and demonstrations, were thrashed out after the initial new lockdown rules failed to bring down the world’s highest coronavirus infection rate per capita.

On the streets, movements are now restricted to within one kilometre (1,00 yards) of home.

At Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, hundreds of Israelis queued at check-in counters after days of uncertainty over how long air travel would remain possible under the tightened lockdown.

As prices soared, tickets for a flight to London that normally costs $200 went up for sale Thursday for $1,300 and were sold out by Friday.

Just before the new restrictions came into force, Transport Minister Miri Regev announced: “The skies will remain partially open.

“The arrangement agreed upon enables leaving the country for whoever bought an airplane ticket prior to the beginning of the lockdown, i.e. today, the 25th, at 1400 (1100 GMT),” she said in a statement.

“People who buy a ticket beyond then won’t be able to use it,” she said, while noting Israelis and residents would be able to return to the country.

A 14-day quarantine will be imposed on people landing in Israel from “red countries” with high coronavirus rates, she added.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

– Prayer, protest restrictions –

Israel has the world’s highest coronavirus infection rate per capita, according to an AFP tally from the past fortnight © AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA

The new rules — one week into a three week lockdown — close workplaces, shutter markets and further limit prayers and demonstrations.

Synagogues are to stay closed except on Yom Kippur, a Jewish holiday that begins on Sunday afternoon, during which the numbers of worshippers are to be limited.

At other times, only outdoor prayers attended by a maximum of 20 people are allowed. The same restrictions apply to demonstrations.

Late Thursday, Finance Minister Israel Katz said he had convinced fellow ministers to allow much of the private sector to continue working.

“I’ve managed to change the outline for the private sector shutdown and contrary to the government’s original intention, enable the continued work of many factories in high-tech, the security industry, construction, finance and services,” he wrote on Facebook.

– ‘Total confusion’ –

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a televised news conference, justifying the decision to reinforce the restrictions.

“Saving lives is our priority — we are living in a moment of national crisis,” said Netanyahu.

Israeli lockdown measures imposed a week ago had already closed schools and imposed restrictions on work and leisure.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Despite the curbs, Israel still has the world’s highest coronavirus infection rate per capita, according to an AFP tally from the past fortnight.

More than 215,000 infections and 1,378 deaths have been recorded, out of a population of nine million, with more than 7,500 new cases on Thursday alone.

Passengers line up for check-in at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport © AFP / menahem kahana

With discord in political ranks over the tightening of measures, Dr. Hagai Levine, a member of a medical team tasked with advising the government, lamented the “total confusion” within the cabinet over how to battle the virus.

Meanwhile, Alex Fishman, a columnist in Israel’s biggest selling daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot, wrote “the government’s zigzags, the public’s defiance and lack of trust raise fears of an extended lockdown after the three weeks are up.”


Corona Virus Data


Last Updated: 5 mins ago

Confirmed Cases


New Cases


Total Deaths


New Deaths


Total Recovered


Active Cases


in Critical


More on Capital News


NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – Nairobi County will retain its current special status, where the national government through the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is...

Capital Health

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 –Health care workers in the country have vowed to reject the just released Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional review report,...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 –The Kenya Commercial Bank temporarily closed its Advantage Branch on Moi Avenue in Nairobi on Thursday afternoon after a customer...

Capital Health

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22- COVID-19 cases in Kenya surged to 47,212 Thursday, after the country recorded 1,068 cases on a single day. The new...


KISUMU, Kenya Oct 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has admitted that the handshake he had with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has given him...


NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 22 – Former Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo was on Thursday awarded Sh1 as compensation in a case in which she had...

Capital Health

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – Deaths due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are projected to rise to 55 percent by the year 2030. A retrospective...

Fifth Estate

By Dr.David Matsanga in United Kingdom On my birthday I have decided to add value to the current debate of reconciliation. I will leave...