After Portugal, now Sweden has become the second European nation to ban travellers from the most vaccinated nation Israel. Sweden also banned the entry of citizens from the United States, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.
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Sweden became the second European Union country to ban Israeli residents from entry due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Israel, despite the country being one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.
Portugal on Wednesday became the first EU country to ban travel from Israel due to a rise in cases. Both countries are following the EU’s recommendation to remove Israel from its list of green countries.
Sweden also banned the entry of citizens from the United States, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.
Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told news outlets that the sharp increases in COVID-19 cases in Israel, the United States, and other countries are the reason why they were removed from Sweden’s travel ban exemption. Despite Israel’s mass vaccination campaign, the virus has continued to spread, Damberg said.
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Earlier in April, the Israeli Peoples Committee (IPC), a civilian body made of leading Israeli health experts, published its report into the Pfizer vaccine’s side effects indicating damage to almost every system in the human body.
GreatGameIndia warned at the time that if the findings by IPC were genuine, then Pfizer vaccine was linked to more deaths in Israel than AstraZeneca’s in the whole of Europe.
Now the massive surge of COVID-19 infections in Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries on earth, is nothing less than a disaster. The Israel vaccine crisis should be a warning to the rest of the world.
According to a news release from the Swedish government, it will reintroduce a travel ban on Israel, the U.S., and other countries starting from Sept. 6.
“Regarding foreign citizens travelling to Sweden from the US, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia as of 6 September, only those covered by another exemption from the entry ban may enter Sweden,” said the release.
“This could concern foreign citizens who have residence permits in Sweden, have particularly urgent needs or are to carry out essential functions, and who can also present a negative COVID-19 test.
The negative COVID-19 test result may not be older than 48 hours. This requirement applies to foreign citizens aged 18 and older, with certain exemptions.”
The Swedish government said it is following the EU’s guidelines on removing those countries from its safe travel list, and it said the directive will be revisited at a later date.
On Aug. 30, the European Union removed the United States, Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and others from its safe travel list. The list is nonbinding and countries are free to determine their own border policies.
“Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed in Annex I is subject to temporary travel restriction. This is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travelers,” the EU said in a statement at the time.
Even though Israel is one of the most vaccinated countries on Earth against COVID-19, cases are rising. The small nation’s seven-day average for COVID-19 infections on Monday was over 1,000 per one million people, which is double the rate of numbers seen in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data.