Israel delays reopening of borders to individual tourists | News


The government of Israel has postponed the reopening of the country to individual tourists by a month.

Guests had been expected to arrive from the start of July, but this has now been delayed until August 1st.

Tourist groups will continue to arrive through next month, under the existing pilot scheme, officials said.

The move comes following concern over the potential spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The news comes as Israel reintroduces a requirement to wear masks indoors amid a rise in cases.

The measure was initially lifted just days ago.

Concern has grown after the country recorded more than 100 new daily cases in successive days after registering zero earlier this month.

Most of the cases have been linked to the Delta variant from abroad.

Israel has been one of the most successful countries in the world in tackling the pandemic.

It implemented the fastest vaccination programme, under which well over half the population of 9.3 million has been partially or fully immunised.

“We are seeing a doubling every few days,” Israel coronavirus response chief, Nachman Ash, told public radio.

“Another thing that is worrying is that the infections are spreading.”

The requirement to wear masks had been the last remaining restriction after all other measures, imposed during lockdown earlier this year, had been gradually dropped.

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