Israel travel ban

Image: Adobe Stock

SA off-limits as Israel imposes travel ban on own citizens

Israel has tightened its international travel regulations which prohibit its citizens from visiting several destinations, including South Africa.

Israel travel ban

Image: Adobe Stock

Israel is the latest country to impose a travel ban on its own nationals against travel to South Africa.  Israeli citizens aren’t able to exit the country to South Africa under updated travel restrictions, which came into effect on Monday 3 May.

Returning residents and travellers who have been in South Africa are required to quarantine for up to two weeks on their arrival in the Holy Land.

Israel travel ban: List of prohibited countries

The latest restrictions also prohibit Israeli citizens and residents from travelling to Ukraine, Ethiopia, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Turkey.

Israel’s national carrier El Al Airlines was set to resume flights to South Africa on 6 May.  The updated travel ban has forced the airline to postpone the restart of its flights between Tel Aviv and Johannesburg.


Governments aim to ward off the importation of mutated strains of the coronavirus by preventing their own nationals from travelling to destinations where new COVID-19 variants are known to be present.

The efficacy of vaccines used in various national vaccination programmes against the new strains of the coronavirus is forcing many countries to prohibit entry to South Africans, as well as to prevent their own nationals from travelling to countries including South Africa.

Israeli authorities said that the list of prohibited countries will be reviewed every two weeks.


Business Insider reports that more than 60% of Israel’s population has already received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccinations.  

While Israel is one of the front-runners in the race to achieve herd immunity among its population, the country is exercising caution by prohibiting its people from travelling to countries where there is a risk of contracting new strains of the coronavirus.