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Sweden bans Israelis from entering country, following EU safe travel list for COVID

Portugal also banned Israeli travelers from entering the country on Wednesday.

Updated: September 2, 2021 - 8:07pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Sweden became the second European Union country on Thursday to ban all Israelis from entering, following Portugal on Wednesday after the EU took Israel off its safe travel list due to its spike in COVID-19 cases.

The travel ban, which also includes the U.S., Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, is temporary, and is scheduled to be in effect from Sept. 6 to Oct. 31, unless it is extended, i24NEWS reported.

Despite Israel's high rate of vaccination, Swedish Interior Minister Mikael Damberg said that there are still large groups in the country that are unvaccinated, leading to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday, Portugal also banned all Israelis from entering the country, including those who are vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.

Italy announced restrictions on Israeli travelers Monday, allowing only those who are vaccinated, have a negative COVID-19 test, or recovered from the virus in the previous six months to enter the country.

The three EU member states followed the EU Council's recommendation on Monday that removed Israel, the U.S., Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia from its safe travel list.

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