Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israel hopes to begin allowing international travel starting in August, with Greece and Cyprus being among the first authorized travel destinations.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was on a visit to Israel for talks, Netanyahu added however that the move depended on the COVID-19 situation.

“Greece and Cyprus will be the first points of destination,” said Netanyahu. “This is contingent on what happens in terms of the numbers of the epidemic whether we keep it under control. But if we are satisfied with the numbers then what we would like to do is target Aug. 1 as the date of the opening of the skies.”

In March, Israel closed its borders to all non-citizens and enforced a mandatory two-week isolation period for all those arriving in the country from overseas.

The Israeli prime minister didn’t provide additional details about what this would mean in practice or what benchmark the government would use to determine the acceptable levels of coronavirus in any of the countries involved.

Greece and Cyprus, along with Israel, have fared comparatively better than many other European nations with regard to the pandemic, although Israel is now seeing a significant rise in the number of new infections, with one top health official saying that the Jewish state could be on the cusp of a second wave.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.