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Israel to add US, Canada to travel ban over omicron variant

Israeli ministers have approved adding the United States and Canada to its travel ban amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli ministers on Monday approved putting the United States and Canada on its coronavirus travel red list as the omicron variant spreads around the globe.

The rare move to red-list the U.S. comes amid rising infections in Israel. The U.S. will join a growing list of European countries and other destinations to which Israeli are barred from traveling, and from which returning travelers must remain in quarantine.

A parliamentary committee is expected to give the measure final approval. Once authorized, the travel ban will take effect at midnight on Wednesday.

Israel has seen a surge in new cases of the more infectious coronavirus variant in recent weeks, and began closing its borders and restricting travel in late November.

Other countries that were approved to be added to the travel ban are Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey.