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Israel Slaps Restrictions on Flights over COVID-19

Israel Slaps Restrictions on Flights over COVID-19

Friday, 25 September, 2020 - 09:30
A general view shows an area of the departures terminal in Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel. Reuters file photo

The Israeli government decided Friday to limit outgoing flights as part of a slew of measures to bolster a second virus lockdown imposed last week.

"The arrangement agreed upon enables leaving the country for whoever bought an airplane ticket prior to the beginning of the lockdown, i.e. today, the 25th, at 1400," Transport Minister Miri Regev said in a statement.

"People who buy a ticket beyond then won't be able to use it," she said, noting Israelis would be able to return to the country "without limitations."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that surging infections were pushing the nation to "the edge of the abyss.”

Finance Minister Israel Katz and Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron objected to the new curbs, according to the finance ministry, which estimated the damage of a three-week lockdown to the economy at around 35 billion shekels ($10.06 billion).

Since the outbreak began, 1,316 people have died in Israel and some 200,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported.

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