The UAE suspends the visa-free travel agreement for Israelis until July

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the United Arab Emirates had suspended an agreement to launch visa-free travel for Israelis to the Gulf state until July 1, due to the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Until then, the ministry said on Monday, Israeli citizens seeking to travel to the UAE will need to obtain a visa, as will UAE citizens seeking to travel to Israel. The Israeli ministry said that the UAE has taken a similar step with regard to travel from most European countries, as well as India and Pakistan.

Israel is under the third lockdown and is discussing the possibility of extending it beyond January 21 as the number of new cases remains high.

The UAE ratified a visa-free travel agreement with Israel last week, and it was due to take effect 30 days from then. The agreement comes after a normalization agreement between the two countries that was signed in September.

The announcement of the suspension comes a day after the Israeli cabinet voted to demand that all people returning from the UAE and Brazil quarantine in government-run hotels. A similar earlier decision on returning travelers from South Africa and Zambia was extended by 10 days.

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