Photo: Flash90

Israeli skies to conditionally reopen

Air Travel is gradually returning to a new normal, after weeks of bare minimum flights.

According to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport authority, efforts are being made to create a “coronavirus free area” at the country’s main airport, which is already well-known for its rigid security.

Ben Gurion International Airport Managing Director, Shmeul Zakai, said “Actually we are starting today, the restart of the airport operation, with all the new regulations, the health regulations, of social distancing, face masks, terminal hall cleaning process and setup, we are monitoring and checking if the process and the new regulation fits to our needs or actually the passengers’ needs.”

Zakai further noted that Israel is establishing a “safe green corridor.” “We are working together not only with the national health authorities with Israel, also with all our colleges all over the world, you can see here the representatives of the French embassy, they are here in order to help EL-AL staff to check the document of the passengers, in order that they will not go to quarantine when they are arriving to France, this kind of process we will see more and more in the airport.”

The scrutinizing procedures that are currently demanded of passengers, however, have raised the costs of international flight. Mathilde Talem, French passenger returning from Israel to France, was quoted spoke of her experience travelling under the new circumstances. “We have to take two taxis separately, we cannot both be together with my husband, so it’s more money, and then when we arrive at the airport, they check twice the temperature, then they put you a bracelet to say that it’s checked, and then again like distance and everything.”

While international tourism is not yet permitted in Israel, Georgia is the first country to announce its plan to restart its tourism industry. The country revealed that as a first stage, it will only allow tourists from Israel to enter its country.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia explained “Georgia should become one of the first countries to be able to resume tourism and start hosting guests again. The Tourism Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy are very active in this process. Today we can say that we are having successful negotiations with several countries, which will soon end with an acceptable result for us. Apparently, the first such country will be Israel, with which we will have a safe green corridor, which will very soon provide an opportunity to receive guests, tourists from this country in Georgia. Of course, we will do our best to receive these guests as befits our country and to take care of their health.”