The Israeli government has decided to close Ben Gurion International Airport to all arrivals for a week as part of the effort to combat the spread of new coronavirus variants.

The closure will start from midnight Monday and remain in effect until Sunday, January 31, when the national lockdown measures are set to be reduced. All aircraft will be barred from entering Israeli skies or landing at Ben Gurion Airport. Exceptions will be made for cargo planes, emergency aircraft and planes that traverse Israeli airspace without landing.

Departing flights will be limited to those carrying passengers who are traveling for medical treatment, essential work, legal proceedings, a funeral of a relative and traveling from one residence to another. The Health Ministry can grant exceptions for humanitarian or approved special personal reasons.