En raison des craintes croissantes concernant les nouveaux variants du coronavirus considérés comme plus infectieux,  le gouvernement israélien a approuvé la règlementation concernant la fermeture du ciel jusqu’ au moins la fin du confinement (fin janvier). Seuls quelques cas très exceptionnels seront autorisés à voyager.

Selon nos informations, qui seront validées lorsque le Ministère de la Santé israélien nous transmettra les décisions définitives : « Seules les personnes qui doivent se rendre à l’étranger pour un suivi médical, faire un travail essentiel qui ne peut être réalisé à distance, un déménagement, ou assister à des funérailles dans leurs familles, seront autorisées à voyager ».

Les restrictions générales (formalisées dans les prochaines heures) suivantes rentreront donc en vigueur à partir du lundi au soir :

– Interdiction d’entrée et de sortie des vols de passagers étrangers et israéliens.

– Réduction des autorisations pour l’arrivée à l’aéroport Ben Gourion, de sorte qu’elle ne sera possible que dans des cas exceptionnels qui seront approuvés par un comité dirigé par les directeurs des ministères de la santé et des transports.

Selon i24 News : « Nous allons fermer l’aéroport Ben Gurion. Nous fermons le ciel de façon hermétique – à de très rares exceptions près – pour empêcher l’entrée des variants du virus sur le territoire, et aussi pour nous assurer que nous progressons rapidement avec notre campagne de vaccination », a déclaré le Premier ministre. 

« Je voudrais souligner que seulement pendant cette semaine, au cours de laquelle le ciel sera fermé, nous allons vacciner un million supplémentaire d’Israéliens, garantissant ainsi que les dommages liés à la mutation et ceux liés aux autres variants seront beaucoup moins importants », a-t-il ajouté. 

Les nouveaux variants britanniques et sud-africains représentent 40% des nouvelles infections et sont en partie responsables du taux de morbidité élevé, malgré le confinement général en vigueur depuis plusieurs semaines. Selon un communiqué du ministère israélien de la Santé, les vols cargos internationaux seront maintenus car ils ne sont pas concernés par les nouvelles mesures ». 

Selon le JPost : « Ben-Gurion Airport will completely close until the end of the month starting Monday at midnight. The cabinet approved the decision in a meeting on Sunday.
Travelers will be prevented from entering or leaving the country except in cases approved by a special committee. The ban on entering Israel includes new immigrants making aliyah, marking the first time that immigration under the Law of Return has been halted in the history of the country. Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata opposed the move during the cabinet meeting.
“We are sealing our skies, except for limited exceptions, in order to prevent the entry of the virus mutations, and also to ensure that we progress quickly with our vaccination campaign…so that more Israelis are vaccinated soon,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the meeting.
According to the outline approved by the government, no foreign plane will be allowed into the country except for cargo planes, firefighting planes and flights devoted to medical evacuation. Moreover, the license of Israeli airlines has been temporary suspended. No one will be allowed to leave the country except for medical treatment, participating in legal proceedings or attending the funeral of a relative. Other requests for humanitarian reason will be examined and approved on an ad-hoc basis by the directors general of the Health and Transportation ministries.
The push to impose further restrictions on travel to and from Israel comes against the backdrop of new revelations about the infectiousness and suspected increased lethality of novel coronavirus variants which have developed in several areas around the world.
The closure of the skies is set to expire on January 31, when also the current reinforced lockdown is scheduled to end.
Netanyahu stressed that in the coming week, Israel will inoculate another million people, and he invited all those over the age of 60 who have not yet been vaccinated – about 20% of the relevant population – to do so immediately.
While the number of new cases in Israel has been decreasing for several days, patients in serious conditions and on ventilators, as well as daily deaths, remain high.
A low 2,394 people tested positive on Saturday – about 8% of those screened – but the number of tests administered was also significantly lower than the average, with some 30,832 tests performed, the Health Ministry reported on Sunday.
At the same time, about 1,228 people are currently in serious condition, up from 1,171 on Saturday and 1,128 on Friday. Some 316 patients are on ventilators and the death toll stands at 4,361 – with 37 people who passed away from the virus since the previous update.
The new virus variants are considered by experts a probable factor for the continued severity of the situation despite the success of the vaccination campaign in the country, with over 2.5 million people who have received the first shot and almost 1 million who have also received the second – a world record.
British officials said that the COVID-19 variant identified in England last month could carry a higher risk of causing death, although data is limited. Until now, health officials have said there was no evidence that it was more lethal or caused a more serious illness.
While the British variant is already common among patients in Israel, with coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash reporting last week that between 30-to-40% of new cases present it, health officials worry about the possible spread of other mutations, including the one from South Africa.
According to the Health Ministry, some 27 cases of people infected with the variant have been identified in Israel. This mutation is considered especially worrisome because some experts are concerned that it might be somewhat resistant to the vaccine.
The cabinet also addressed the issue of law-enforcement, especially in the ultra-Orthodox sector, where infection numbers, as well as reported violations, remain especially high.
“We are losing lives because of a politically-motivated lack of [coronavirus regulation] enforcement,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said during the meeting. “The government and the ministry of education aren’t exercising their legal authority to close and deny budgets to educational institutions that are open during the lockdown contrary to government guidelines. I have asked the attorney general to see what kind of legal means are available (in dealing with) public leaders whose instructions contradict the guidelines laid out by the government.”
Netanyahu called on all citizens to respect the regulations, stating that most of the Ultra-Orthodox do abide by the laws but promising to act against those who don’t.



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