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Country Update

Movement and restrictions 

Travel between cities and villages in Israeli and Hamas controlled areas is permitted.

Travel between cities and villages in PA controlled areas is prohibited. 


Travel (regional and international) 

Israeli controlled areas 

Ramon regional airport is currently operational.

Ben Gurion airport is partially open. Only Israeli citizens are permitted to return to Israeli controlled areas through Ben Gurion Airport. All arrivals are required to self quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. United airlines, Wizz Air, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Delta, Ethiopian Airlines, and Air France are currently operating at the airport for travelers from Israeli controlled areas.

Sheikh Hussein Bridge Border Crossing with Jordan and Taba Border Crossing with Egypt remain closed. 


PA controlled areas 

Land border crossing with Jordan (The Allenby Border Crossing) remains closed. However, Palestinian citizens stranded in Jordan are permitted to return through the border crossing occasionally. All arrivals are tested for Covid-19 upon arrival, and those who test positive are held at designated hospitals.


Hamas controlled areas 

Land border crossing with Egypt (Rafah Border Crossing) remains closed. However, Palestinian citizens stranded in Egypt are permitted to return through the border crossing occasionally. All arrivals are tested for Covid-19 upon arrival, and those who test positive are held at a facility in Rafah.  


Policies

Israeli controlled areas 

Wearing a face mask in public is mandatory. Anyone who fails to wear a mask will be fined 200 Shekels. Whoever violates quarantine orders will be fined 5,000 Shekels. Furthermore, businesses that violate health and safety regulations ordered by the Israeli government in an attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19 will be fined and/or shut down. 

A complete lockdown will be imposed in any area, neighborhood, or city with a high number of active Coronavirus cases.


PA controlled areas 

A complete lockdown will be imposed on all PA controlled areas on the night of July 23rd. The lockdown during which grocery stores, bakeries, and pharmacies are permitted to remain open will remain in place until the morning of July 26th.

Wearing a mask in public is mandatory. Anyone who fails to wear a mask will be fined up to 20 Jordanian Dinars. In addition, businesses that violate health and safety regulations ordered by the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19 will be fined.

All social gatherings, including weddings and funerals are banned until further notice. 

Palestinians living in Israeli controlled areas are urged by the PA to avoid traveling to PA controlled areas until further notice in bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.


Operations viability 

Israeli controlled areas 

In Israeli controlled areas, most sectors resumed except for the tourism sector for internationals. 

Universities and nurseries are currently open, however, any educational institution that reports a confirmed Coronavirus case either among its students, staff, or faculty will be shut down by authorities until further notice.

Tourism Sector for internationals - closed

Event halls, clubs, and bars - closed 

Restaurants - 20 people sitting inside, up to 30 outside

Synagogues - 19 people

Gyms and public pools - closed

Cultural performances - closed

Organized sporting events - without fans

Summer camps - closed for children over fourth grade

Buses - up to 20 people per bus, with windows open and no air-conditioning

Gatherings - up to 20 people, two meters apart with masks

Government offices - 30% of staff required to work from home


Starting July 24th at 17:00, gyms and fitness studios, apart from those attended by professional athletes, will be closed. Restaurants will only operate for deliveries, and pickup from restaurants will also be allowed. Hotel dining rooms will operate at 35% of their maximum capacity, while hotel pools will remain open. Gatherings of over 10 individuals will be prohibited. Cafeterias at workplaces will be shuttered, with employees only having the option to pick up food. These restrictions will remain in effect throughout the week.

In addition, the Israeli government approved some restrictions to only take effect on weekends, starting July 24th at 17:00 through Sundays at 5:00. During that time frame, stores, malls, shopping centers, hairdressers, beauty salons, libraries, zoos, museums, exhibition halls, public swimming pools, and tourist attractions will be closed.

Businesses providing essential services, including supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as pharmacies will remain open during weekends.  

Individuals will be permitted to leave their homes with no distance limit both on weekdays and during the week. 

Beaches will close starting next weekend July 31st - August 2nd at 5:00.  


PA controlled areas

Most sectors resumed. However, hair salons, mosques, churches, gyms, and public swimming pools remain closed until further notice.

Indoor dining at restaurants and cafes is prohibited until further notice. Restaurants can only operate for deliveries, and pickup from restaurants is also permitted.

Travel Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic See All

The outbreak of Coronavirus and its rapid spread around the world have had an unprecedented impact on the commercial aviation industry. Though some airlines are still flying, including rescue flights to repatriate individuals to their home countries, many airlines are being grounded by the Covid-19 outbreak for the time being. Furthermore, going forward, many experts across the health-care and aviation industries believe that air travel will not be the same after the advent of the Covid-19 outbreak.  

The spread of Covid-19 has resulted in an unprecedented decline in air traffic. The average number of commercial flights per day fell from more than 100,000 in January and February this year to around 78,500 in March and 29,400 in April due to the spread of Covid-19 around the world as well as the full or partial suspension of air travel by governments in bid to contain the virus, according to data released by Flightradar24. As a result of the decline in air traffic across the world, according to the International Air Transport Association, passenger revenue for airlines is estimated to plunge by $314 billion by the end of the year 2020.

Such a decline in air traffic has also led airlines to ground a large proportion of their fleet, resulting in many running into financial difficulties.

Some governments have stepped in to offer a lifeline for those struggling. They include: The U.S. Treasury Department reached an agreement with airlines including American, Delta and United for 25 billion dollars in government grants. The French and Dutch governments announced they would provide up to 11 billion euros in financial aid to Air France-KLM. As well as Singapore’s government working with the private sector to provide up to 19 billion Singapore dollars to Singapore Airlines.

The Coronavirus outbreak has triggered unprecedented mass layoffs in the commercial aviation industry as well. On April 18th, it was reported that British Airways is set to cut up to 12,000 jobs from its 42,000 - strong workforce. In addition, in a memo that went out to about 11,500 workers on May 5th, Kate Gebo, United Airlines' (UAL) head of human resources, said the company's management and administrative team could be reduced by 30% in October of this year.

While a new report from an analyst at Stifel, an investment banking company, predicts that air travel demand will not return to pre-outbreak levels until at least the end of year 2021, it will rebound, as it has in the past, after the financial crisis of 2008 and 9/11, two other events that had a huge negative impact on air travel.

However, air travel may look different going forward. And wearing masks and gloves and practicing social distancing are only the beginning. In a new report, "The Rise of Sanitized Travel," SimpliFlying anticipates dozens of ways air travel might change in the coming months and years. Change may include the following:

  1. Online check-in: Besides choosing their seat or paying for checked bags, passengers might also need to upload an “immunity passport” - a document to confirm the presence of Covid-19 antibodies - before they fly.
  2. Airport curbside: Passengers could be required to arrive at least four hours ahead of their flight, and pass through a disinfection tunnel or thermal scanner to check their temperature before being allowed to enter the airport.
  3. Check-in and bag drop: New touchless kiosks would allow passengers to check in by scanning a barcode, or using gestures or voice commands. Airport agents would be behind plexiglass shields, and bags would be disinfected and then "sanitagged” meaning bags will be sanitized before tagging.
  4. Health check: Passengers would undergo a health screening, and potentially even have their blood tested. In April, Emirates became the first airline to conduct rapid on-site Covid-19 testing of passengers before boarding.
  5. Security: Each carry-on bag and security bin would be disinfected when entering the X-ray machine, using fogging or UV-ray techniques, then “sanitagged."
  6. Boarding: Passengers would need to be present an hour before departure, maintain social distancing in the gate area and board only when they receive individual notifications on their smartphones to prevent crowding in the jet bridge.
  7. On the plane: The pre-flight safety video might include sanitation procedures, as passengers wipe down their seats and tray tables. In-flight magazines will be removed, seatback pockets emptied, and passengers will likely use their own devices to watch videos. An in-flight janitor might keep lavatories and other high-touch areas disinfected after passenger use.
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