Protecting Truth During Tension

As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict develops and the rise of hate crimes persists, TML is on the ground in the Middle East and beyond writing stories that readers like you and other media outlets rely on. To ensure that you have immediate access to unbiased, fact-based reporting, it is crucial that TML has the resources to disseminate these stories in real-time. Please help us protect the truth during these critical times by making a donation today.
The Media Line is proud to assume this responsibility and has over 20 years of success in shaping the role of news reporting in the region. We hope you will support our efforts by making a donation today.

In our modern, digital world, we are not as far away from each other as we once were, which is why news agencies have a responsibility to put forth reliable, trustworthy journalism more than ever before.
TML is proud to assume this responsibility.
We hope you will support our efforts.

Thank you!

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President
Expert: Tourism to Israel Safe With Proper Safeguards

Expert: Tourism to Israel Safe With Proper Safeguards

As country opens its borders, some are wary of a return of COVID-19

With Israel slowly opening up its borders to foreign tourists, some in the Jewish state are concerned that a Seychelles-like scenario will develop in the Middle East.

Despite having one of the highest COVID -19 vaccination rates in the world at over 60%, the archipelagic nation off the east coast of Africa has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases as the country, renowned for its tourism industry, started welcoming foreign visitors.

As a result, medical professionals are concerned about renewed coronavirus spread as more people fly around the world, including to Israel.

“I’m getting my children vaccinated,” a Jerusalem-based doctor told The Media Line on condition of anonymity. “I just think that it’s the smart thing to do as people start going to different countries again. Who knows what will happen to Israel’s COVID numbers as people start traveling and more tourists arrive?”

However, not all physicians share that level of concern.

“It’s [permitting tourists from abroad to enter Israel] doable, but it needs to be done gradually and properly, mainly with countries with high vaccination rates and low cases of COVID-19,” Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, director of the School of Public Health at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, told The Media Line.

“We need the proper integration and surveillance at the points of entry, mainly the [Ben-Gurion] international airport, but also at the land crossings from Egypt, the Palestinian territories and Jordan,” he continued.

Israel should continue to have people tested for the novel coronavirus before they enter the country, and quarantine all who are not vaccinated, he said.

Davidovitch added that tourism and other travel for business and conferences cannot be prevented indefinitely, for economic reasons.

Still, about 33% of new coronavirus cases in Seychelles stemmed from people who were inoculated.

In the region, spread of the novel virus among those who have been vaccinated has prompted Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to offer a third, booster, shot to recipients of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, over concerns about its efficacy.

When asked about COVID-19 strains, such as the highly contagious Delta (aka the Indian) variant, and possible new ones down the road that might be immune to the vaccines, Davidovitch said that they are not enough of a threat to public health to warrant stopping the movement of people between countries that have the pandemic relatively well under control.

“I don’t think variants should prevent moving forward with tourists and international travel, except for countries with high rates of incidents like India,” he said.

On Saturday, for the first time, no new locally contracted coronavirus cases were identified in Israel, the Health Ministry said. Four carriers were identified but all four recently arrived from overseas.

And this coming Tuesday, wearing masks will only be required inside schools, with the only other restrictions remaining in place concerning people arriving from abroad.

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers for the Middle East and North Africa as of 3 pm Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±0) on Thursday:

CountryConfirmed CasesDeathsRecoveredActive Cases
Palestinian Territories310,5443,520302,3574,667
Saudi Arabia461,2427,503443,8109,929
United Arab Emirates589,4231,710568,82818,885


Steven Ganot contributed to this report.

Give the Gift of Trusted News!

Dear friends,

The Media Line is always there to report to you the stories and issues of the Middle East – completely and in context: TML is the source you can trust.

Know The Media Line to Know The Middle East!

Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

You rely on us and we’re relying on you! Make your online tax-deductible donation here and contact us regarding donations through appreciated stock, donor advised funds, qualifying IRA distributions and other charitable instruments.

Thank you for confidence in The Media Line.
Felice Friedson
Founder, President

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.