By: Amit Acco, Partner |

Israeli Government announced with immediate effect, that all African countries, with the exception of Egypt and Marocco, will be added to the red list of countries, including South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini.

The list of “red” countries had been empty for some six weeks, as no country had fallen into the Health Ministry’s criteria.

The red country designation was decided due to the detection of new COVID-19 variants in that African region. According to government officials,  additional countries in the region may also be added to the list in the coming days.

Under Israeli COVID-19 Entry Restrictions, entry to Israel is banned for foreign nationals visiting a red country in the last 14 days before arrival in Israel. For the full country designation list click here.

Non-Israelis who visited red country in the last 14 days, will be denied entry to Israel unless they petition the Exceptions Committee successfully: Online petition form for the Exceptions Committee

Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett said at a press conference, that Israel will bar travel from all Subsaharan African countries for now. He said the government was “preparing for every scenario” concerning the new strain.

The B.1.1.529 variant, or the “Omicron”, which has been described as having an “awful spike mutation profile,” has been detected in a number of coronavirus cases in South Africa. In addition, South African scientists say the new variant has an “extremely high” number of mutations.

Around the World Health Alert

According to global news, starting Monday, November 29, 2021, the US will limit travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.

Britain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands are among nations suspending flights from South Africa and surrounding countries, while Japan will require travelers from the region to quarantine for 10 days.

Saudi Arabia was among countries in the Middle East and North Africa 3to ban travelers from several African nations due to fears over a new coronavirus variant.

According to an announcement made by the Swiss Embassy in Israel yesterday night, 26 November 2021, effective immediately, entry from Israel is no longer possible for persons who are not Swiss citizens or who have a residence permit in Switzerland or in the Schengen area. This includes all citizens of Israeli and non-Schengen countries.

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Disclaimer: The COVID-19 information is gathered from various public media sources at the courtesy of KTA to its own clients and website visitors. Due to the rapid, sometimes daily changes in policy, we urge any traveler to get updated at the official government website by clicking here prior to planning or taking any international travel to or from Israel.