UPDATED 4:40 PM PT – Sunday, January 24, 2021
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Israel was shutting down the international airport to nearly all flights. This is expected to last through the end of the month.
The closure of Israel’s main airport comes as the nation struggles to contain the outbreak. The emergence of the new variant has also threatened to undercut the nation’s highly successful vaccination push to its citizens.
“We are shutting down the Ben Gurion Airport today,” Netanyahu stated. “As opposed to what’s being said, we are ahead of the entire world, no country has done what we are about to do. We are doing it, hermetically shutting down the sky, except for unusual rare cases, to prevent the entry of variants of the virus.”
Israeli PM Netanyahu on travel ban:
“We are closing Ben Gurion Airport…we’re acting faster than the rest of the world. No country has done what we are about to do, we are closing the skies in order to prevent the entry of mutations and variants of the virus.” pic.twitter.com/wnXSxSOrLa
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) January 24, 2021
The closure will go into effect at midnight Monday and will remain in effect until at least January 31.