US Embassy in Israel warns its citizens: Leave now or you may be stranded

The U.S. Embassy in Israel warned American citizens on Sunday that they should leave the country immediately or risk an open-ended stay in Israel because of airlines canceling their services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“U.S. citizens who live in or seek to travel to the United States should arrange for immediate departure to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza for an indefinite period. Further cancellations and suspensions can occur with little or no warning, making availability limited and unpredictable. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe,” it said in a travel advisory.

“As of March 29, the only available commercial flight departing Ben Gurion Airport to the United States is on United Airlines, but it is subject to change at any time. El Al announced a temporary suspension of flights from March 26 to April 4. To the best of our knowledge, there are no flights available at this time from Ben Gurion Airport to other destinations which may provide connections to the United States,” the advisory said.

“The embassy is not able to assist with arranging commercial travel options,” it added.

US citizens not residing in Israel will not be allowed to enter its borders due to the coronavirus restrictions.

“We recommend that passengers refrain from boarding flights to Israel without a pre-authorization letter of approval because there is no guarantee that they will be able to enter the country. In addition, all incoming passengers, including US citizens, may be subject to a health check and a 14-day isolation period at a facility set up by the Israeli government,” concluded the statement.

As of Sunday evening, the number of coronavirus cases in Israel raised to 4,247 infected and 15 fatalities.