Israel to impose travel ban for foreigners over new coronavirus variant
Israel is to ban foreigners from entering the country for 14 days and use surveillance to halt the spread of the new Covid variant, local media report.
The ban is expected to come into effect at midnight on Sunday, following full cabinet approval.
Israel has so far confirmed one case of the potentially more infectious Omicron variant first detected in South Africa.
Many countries have since banned travel to South Africa and its neighbours.
South Africa has complained that it is being punished - instead of applauded - for discovering Omicron earlier this month.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the new variant is "of concern", with early evidence suggesting a higher re-infection risk.
However, the WHO has warned against countries hastily imposing travel restrictions, saying they should look to a "risk-based and scientific approach".
The Israeli coronavirus cabinet agreed a series of new restrictions at a crisis meeting late on Saturday and are subject to final approval by the larger cabinet.
In addition to the entry ban for non-Israelis, a three-day mandatory quarantine would be required for all vaccinated Israeli nationals, and a seven-day quarantine for those who have not been vaccinated.