'Fifth Wave'? Israel Bans Travel to United States

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

The Israeli government has issued a travel ban to the United States due to concerns over the omicron variant.

Starting Tuesday, Israelis will need a special permit to fly to the U.S., which joins more than 50 other nations on Israel’s travel ban list.

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Related: Most Americans Refuse to Let COVID Hype Interfere With Holiday Plans

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday evening the country has been acting fast to restrict international travel to the Jewish State since the omicron variant was detected.

“The time we bought is running out,” Bennett said. “The numbers are still not high, but it’s a very contagious variant, doubling itself every two to three days, as we see around the world. It’s possible to say that the fifth wave has begun.”

Bennett encouraged the 8 million Israeli citizens to get vaccinated and adhere to other cautionary measures.

According to the Health Ministry, Israel has 134 confirmed omicron cases, with no deaths.

And yet some media demand more action:

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Also on Monday, Bennett urged children to get vaccinated in the next two weeks, calling it “critical.”

Even though COVID-19 does not cause serious illness in kids, Israel began vaccinating those aged 5-11 in November.

Parents clearly are skeptical. As of Dec. 20, just over 10% of those under age 12 had received a first dose of the vaccine.

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