Israel bans entry from African countries ahead of Miss Universe 2021 over Covid-19 variant

26 Nov 2021 | Camilla Suarez

Israel has announced a ban on entry of travellers from seven African countries, after a new Covid-19 variant was detected in South Africa. Amid reports of the heavily mutated variant known as B.1.1529, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horwitz on 25th November 2021 decided to list South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini as ‘red countries’. "Foreigners from these countries will not be able to enter Israel," the Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

Israelis are banned from travelling to countries on the ‘red’ list, unless they receive special permission from Israel's health ministry. Israeli citizens who return home from trips to these countries will need to stay in a designated quarantine motel for seven days, even if they are fully vaccinated.


Israel bans entry from African countries ahead of Miss Universe 2021 over Covid-19 variant


It is most probably possible to believe that two of the strongest contenders Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela Mswane and Miss Namibia 2021 Chelsi Shikongo are likely to be absent from Miss Universe 2021. Earlier this month, the South African government agency, Department of Arts, Culture and Sports had alsonurged Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela not to participate in the event in Israel and some pageant fans, civil rights movements have also been opposing to South African participation and urges a boycott since her coronation.

This decision comes ahead of the 70th Miss Universe pageant, scheduled to take place in Eilat on 12th December 2021 where delegates from all over the world will compete for the title of Miss Universe 2021. The question that arises is that if the ban will affect the participation of South African countries in the competition. Would this mean that African delegates Miss South Africa and Miss Namibia may not be able to participate in the Miss Universe pageant to be held in Israel few days from now?