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Switzerland announces new restrictions on Israelis after Omicron detection

20 27 115

Switzerland on Saturday became the first nation to place fresh limitations on Israelis arriving to the country, after a case of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 was discovered in the country, alongside three other suspected cases and fears that more could already be spreading in the population.

Switzerland said anyone entering the country from Israel, Belgium, Hong Kong and numerous African countries would need to present a negative test result and quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

“This also applies to vaccinated and recovered persons,” said the statement from Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health.

Action to restrict arrivals from Israel was apparently being considered by other countries, as governments race to get ahead of Omicron, which is feared to be highly contagious, and possibly better able to bypass vaccine protection than other strains.

Israel was among numerous countries to ban foreigners arriving from most African countries in recent days. The highly mutated Omicron was first identified in South Africa.

The country is still allowing Israelis who previously departed to those countries to return, but is enacting strict quarantine measures. All arrivals from so-called “red” nations will be processed through Ben Gurion Airport’s smaller Terminal 1, to keep them away from the majority of passengers. They will then be required to isolate at state-run quarantine hotels.

The government’s coronavirus cabinet was set to meet Saturday evening to consider further steps to curb the spread of the new variant. According to Kan news, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett prefers to close Israel to foreigners entirely due to the emergence of Omicron (Israel only fully reopened to vaccinated........

© The Times of Israel

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