Israel decided on Thursday night to extend its tough travel restrictions including its entry ban on all foreign nationals for a further ten days, in a bid to stop further cases of the omicron variant of coronavirus entering the country.

In a statement issued by Israel’s Prime Minister, Neftali Bennett, and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, the restrictions on passengers arriving at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport will run until at least the 22 of December.

Under the current requirements, all Israelis returning from abroad must self-quarantine until they receive confirmation of a negative coronavirus PCR test result, while those arriving from high-risk countries are required to isolate at a state-governed quarantine hotel until they receive a negative PCR test result.

The statement also said additional restrictions and incentives for vaccination may be imposed in the coming days.Israel has identified at least 21 cases of the highly mutated omicron coronavirus variant first detected in southern Africa. Israel, a country of 9.3 million people, has reported 8,210 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

 Most of its population  over 6.3 million people  has received at least one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and more than 4 million Israelis have received a booster.

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