At 2 PM on Friday, September 25, Israel is set to ratchet up the current lockdown. At this hour, the Knesset is debating the details of this arrangement.

It was reported on Wednesday, September 23 that the Corona cabinet debated the idea of shuttering Ben Gurion airport. This potential move sent some community members into a frenzy, as many had travel scheduled for the Sukkos holiday period. Dozens of calls poured into Chaim V’Chessed headquarters, seeking clarification on the possible ramifications on their travel plans. Others beseeched our representatives to lobby for an arrangement which would allow flights to depart. Still other callers were scheduled to travel to Israel in coming days, for a host of reasons, including Simcha travels.

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Chaim V’Chessed officials spent the past 48 hours in constant communication with a host of government figures, politicians and airline industry officials. We are now pleased to cautiously announce, that at this time, the airport will not close. For now, flights will continue more or less as scheduled. There is a possibility that outbound travel will only be permitted for passengers who purchased tickets prior to September 26.

Sources tell us that it appears that the airport will function as normal until, at least next Thursday, October 1.

As with all matters during these unprecedented times, everything and anything can change at any time. This is the most current information that Chaim V’Chessed has gleaned from our sources and contacts.

Please bear in mind our earlier notification regarding the suspension of entry to Israel for student visa holders. It is far from clear when issuance of entry permits for students will resume. Student visa holders who are considering travelling during the Yom Tov season should bear in mind that their return to Israel may be delayed.