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Israeli COVID rate world’s highest

Oxford University has published a study revealing that coronavirus cases per capita in Israel are now the world’s highest, with the country currently ranked in the fourth percentile for virus-related deaths.

By Erin Viner 

There have been 1,066,352 total cases in Israel, where 7,043 people died and 975,767 others have recovered from the disease.

There are currently 83,542 active infections, of whom 719 patients are in critical condition. Some 11,000 people tested positive for the virus yesterday – marking the highest number of infections in a single day since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The most recent data from the Israeli Ministry of Health shows an escalating surge of the disease. 191,937 Israelis tested positive in August as 1,564 others died of coronavirus-related complications  – up from 32,537 in July with 52 deaths, and 2,392 in June at a mortality rate of 8.

Even though the spike marks a grim milestone, a peak of 1,444 fatalities in Israel occurred in January 2021.

The Israeli Government Press office has published the latest guidelines for travel on its website, which is updated regularly.

Current “High Risk” countries are Turkey, Brazil, Mexico and Bulgaria. All foreign travelers, including those who have been vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus, including B1 visa holders, and regardless of a serological test, who have stayed in one of these nations for any length of time during the 14 days prior to their arrival will not allowed to enter Israel. Those who stayed for up to 12 hours exclusively in an airport in these countries will be permitted to enter Israel with the usual entry permit or a B1/long term B2 visa; whereas any stay exceeding 12 hours requires a 14-day stay in a non-banned country prior to entry.

“Low Risk” countries now include Poland, Slovakia, Bahrain, Hungary, Czech Republic, China (including Hong Kong), Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand. All travelers, foreign and Israeli, who have stayed in one of these nations over the previous 2 weeks will be permitted into Israel with an entry permit or a B1 visa, and able to leave quarantine after 24 hours from landing if they:

  1. Have an Israeli vaccination certificate and tested negative in their PCR test upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, or
  2. Have a foreign vaccination certificate, tested negative in their PCR test upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport AND took a serological test in Israel confirmed by the Ministry of Health.

Until 2 September at 23:59: all travelers, foreign and Israeli, including those who have been vaccinated or recovered from the coronavirus, including B1 visa holders and regardless of a serological test, who have stayed in any country other than those listed above during a 2-week period before arrival will be allowed to enter to Israel with an entry permit or a B1 visa, but are obligated to spend 7 days in isolation. This obligation cannot be waived with a serological test. The mandated 1-week isolation period (as opposed to a default 2-week quarantine) is conditioned on taking a second (negative) PCR test on the 7th day. Travelers who were vaccinated abroad should know that while they can be dismissed from isolation after a week and two negative PCR tests – the Israeli “Green Pass” is conditioned on having a serological test as well.

These guidelines will shift at midnight on 3 September, when all foreign and Israeli travelers arriving from any country (with the exception of the 4 High Risk countries) may leave quarantine 24 hours after landing and receiving negative results in their PCR test upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, provided they:

  1. Received three doses of the vaccine in Israel, or
  2. Received two doses of the vaccine in Israel, but the second dose was received less than six months prior to their entry, or
  3. Have an Israeli certificate of recovery from COVID-19 which is less than six months old, or
  4. Have an Israeli certificate of recovery from COVID-19 and received one dose of the vaccine in Israel.

The GPO emphasized that “no traveler can be admitted in Israel” without certification of vaccination.

It also stressed that “any traveler who was vaccinated outside Israel – no matter when, where, with what and how many times – is subject to quarantine of at least 7 days (except for arrivals from the 9 low risk countries) as detailed above. That applies for Israelis as well. No serological test will waive this requirement.”