In an attempt to remove some of the restrictions still in place at Israel’s primary entry point, Ben Gurion Airport, Kobi Zussman, Country Manager of IATA in Israel, turned to MK Gilad Kariv, Chair of the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee in the Knesset.
In his letter, Zussman writes to Kariv: “Many countries recognize that fertile and prosperous international civil aviation is a significant economic growth engine, with important implications that go far beyond the tourism industry, and since the outbreak of the epidemic, they have been working tirelessly to return to open skies and full aviation activity, making sure it runs smoothly and rapidly as possible.
“To do so,” writes Zussman, “most traffic restrictions and entry requirements have been removed, and more than 80 countries have already abolished the required PCR test for vaccinated or recovering passengers, not to mention the need for a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) or wearing a mask onboard.”
Zussman further adds in his letter to Kariv: “In the spirit of your own words at the committee meeting, IATA believes the time has come to do the same in Israel, facilitating entry for vaccinated passengers (both citizens of Israel and foreigners), and limiting the requirement only to non-vaccinated passengers.”
Zussman concludes by saying: “It should be noted that IATA’s position in this regard is based, among other things, on research conducted on IATA’s behalf by Oxera, showing that travel and border restrictions are ineffective (certainly long-term) in preventing cross-border disease variants and that the limited efficacy of borders closures and traffic restrictions over the long run is soon outweighed by the far-reaching and devastating economic consequences.”