Israeli int’l airport to remain open despite nationwide COVID-19 lockdown

Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport will remain open during the upcoming three-week full nationwide lockdown period that will begin on Friday, the state’s Ministry of Health said on Monday.

The decision was made following a discussion attended by ministers of health, foreign affairs, interior and transport.

According to the decision, only flights that have already been approved can be carried out under restrictions and guidelines, such as the obligation of undergoing a coronavirus test before the flight.

Accordingly, passengers will be permitted to get to the airport despite the lockdown restriction that prohibits moving more than 500 meters away from home.

Departing passengers will have to issue a flight ticket at least four hours before departure, and this will be their permit to stay away from home.

Passengers returning from one of the 30 countries with low morbidity will not need to enter a 14-day quarantine, and will only be obligated to the lockdown’s restrictions.

Israelis are currently allowed to visit Greece, Bulgaria and Croatia without quarantine obligation, and could do so in the lockdown period as well.

Except for its closure every year on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Ben Gurion Airport was never shut down, not even during wars.