Israel delays entry for vaccinated tourists as Delta variant spreads

Travelers looking to visit Israel are going to have to wait a little longer than expected. 

The country is postponing the date individual tourists can enter amid an uptick of COVID cases. Government officials had planned to allow individual vaccinated tourists to enter the country beginning July 1, but have pushed back the start date to Aug. 1. Authorized tour groups may still enter the country.

The decision comes as the highly-contagious Delta variant, which was first detected in India, becomes the dominant strain in various countries.  

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“Our goal at the moment, first and foremost, is to safeguard the citizens of Israel from the Delta variant that is running amok in the world,” newly-elected Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday in a statement from his office. “We have decided to take action as soon as possible, even now, in order not to pay a heavier price later, by taking quick and responsible actions.”

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