Tens of thousands of Israelis are eager to go abroad, the tourism industry is begging for revenue, but the Ministry of Health’s opposition to the outline of corona tests at airports is preventing the sky from opening.
Many countries in the Western world have opened their borders while creating an effective test system at the entrance to the country, but as of today, Israel is lagging behind due to opposition from the ministry.
About two months ago, two senior officials from the Ministry of Health, Prof. Sigal Sadecki and Prof. Itamar Grotto, arrived at Ben Gurion Airport to examine the conduct of the main gate to the State of Israel. The two examined the possibility of establishing a testing laboratory at the airport. Corona tests during the period of the tour, and the second – fear that state laboratory workers will go to work in the private laboratories where they will be paid more.
Meanwhile, Iceland, Dubai and other advanced countries have adopted a double-checking model that allows the “opening of the sky” under certain restrictions.
How does the model work? A passenger is checked in the country of origin 72 hours before departure. If it is negative, it takes off with it to the destination country where, immediately upon landing, it conducts another check and is sent to a hotel for a few hours, after which it receives an answer to the cell phone. If this result is also negative, the passenger is free to travel in the country. Two negative test results within a few days allow for quiet in most countries of the world.
Right-wing chairman MK Naftali Bennett attacks the policy of the Ministry of Health and claims, “Closing the skies of Israel is a terrible livelihood problem that affects hundreds of thousands of Israelis in some very wide circles. Israel is an island, it has no land connection to any country in the world and we depend on it. Can be closed for so long. ”
According to him, in recent weeks he has consulted with experts in Israel and around the world and formulated with them an outline for flights to Israel and from Israel. According to the outline, when Israel is “red”, passengers will undergo a corona test 72 hours before takeoff, pass another at Ben Gurion Airport or Ramon, and after two negative results can take off. When they land at the destination, they will pass the additional test according to state requirements Who do not carry the virus.
In Israel, as mentioned, the issue is stuck. Alon Katzaf, CEO of David Shield, one of the private companies that proposed setting up the laboratory at Ben Gurion Airport, says: The tourist has not set up a virus that can carry out 40,000 tests in Mecca, and in Thailand the country is expected to open soon for those who arrive ready for such a process. “Almost anywhere in the world. Such a testing process will cost a passenger about $ 200.”
According to Foaf: “There are quite a few developments of breath testing, and when they are ready, it will be much cheaper, faster and simpler, but until then we must align with what is happening in the world. We are already behind.”
According to data from the Ministry of Health, in the last two weeks, 13,000 passengers entered Israel – all of them immigrants or Israeli citizens – only four of whom were Corona patients.
Aviation industry executives join the claims: “The Ministry of Health does not really count this industry. 200,000 families make a living from it and they need a solution. Why does the whole world align itself with the issue of double checks and we can not? What is the danger of a healthy tourist coming here?”