Israel Reopening Borders to tourists

Israel Is Open To Vaccinated Travelers From Most Countries Since January 9

Israel reopened to fully vaccinated tourists from most countries on Jan. 9.

Arrivals will be required to present a negative PCR coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours prior to take-off and proof of vaccination no older than six months.

A second PCR test will be administered at Ben Gurion Airport upon arrival.

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Israel reopening – Latest Updates

Israel beach

January 12 – Israel has reopened its borders for vaccinated travelers as it ditched its “red-list” of countries

Israel reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers as well as some recovered foreign tourists on Jan. 9. Given that COVID-19 cases have spiked to record levels, maintaining a list of red-listed nations is no longer useful, said the government. 

“We still recommend avoiding unnecessary flights. Morbidity is high worldwide and these transitions are a risk factor for infection,” Health Ministry director-general Prof. Nachman Ash said at a press briefing.

Travelers must have been fully vaccinated with one of the Israel-approved vaccines (at least two shots) no less than 14 days prior to departure. Other restrictions apply. 

Airlines currently flying to Israel 

(This list may change with little to no previous notice)

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air Baltic
  • Air Canada
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • Airmoldova
  • American Airlines
  • Arkia Israel
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Belavia
  • British airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Cyprus airways
  • Delta
  • Easyjet
  • El al
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Flydubai
  • Gulf air
  • Iberia
  • Israir
  • Lufthansa
  • Pegasus Airlines
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Ryanair
  • Swiss international Airlines
  • Tap air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Ukraine international Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin
  • Wizz

(Source)

The 7-step exit strategy (Reopening plan) – How does it work?

  • 1st step: Businesses and schools for ages up to six will be allowed to reopen (Unclear when it will occur).
  • 2nd step to 4th step: Reopening of professional sports, gyms, hotels, clubs and public swimming pools.
  • 5th step: Reopening of Ben Gurion International Airport, plus restaurants and cafes.
  • 7th step: Returning to the original color-coded “Traffic Light” plan designed by pandemic czar Prof Ronni Gamzu.

What is open in Israel?

The government has reopened business venues like nightclubs, bars, amusement parks, and cultural sites. 

Who is allowed to enter Israel?

Fully vaccinated travelers from most countries.

Israel international airport

Is it safe to visit Israel during COVID-19?

Israel is no longer considered a safe place to visit during COVID-19. (CDC.gov warning level 4).

COVID-19 situation in Israel

Thus far, Israel has recorded 1,589,106 cases and 8,274 deaths.

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.


Israel Reopening Borders: Updates Archives

Israel

December 28 – Israel will lift its travel ban on most African and European countries on Dec. 30. – UK and US not included.

Israel will lift its travel ban on most African countries and some European nations on Dec. 30, the Health Ministry announced on Monday.

The US, the UK, Spain, Portugal, Canada, South Africa, the UAE, Ethiopia, Turkey, France, Hungary, Tanzania, Nigeria and Switzerland as well as Mexico will remain banned for the time being.

“When Israel becomes a ‘red’ country, with thousands of local infections with omicron, there is no reason to fear a person leaving another ‘red’ country,” the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee’s report said. 

December 22 – Israel bans travel to Canada and the United States over Omicron concerns

Israel’s Cabinet has decided to ban citizens from traveling to Canada, the United States and other 8 countries due to the high incidence of Omicron cases in those countries.

Italy, the USA, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Portugal, Canada, Switzerland, and Turkey will be defined as red countries starting tomorrow…” said the government on Monday.

Other countries in the red-list are Denmark, France, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UAE, and the UK.

“Omicron is already in the country, from the Knesset to kindergartens, and it is spreading fast,” said the Prime Minister.

Read our full post: Israel Imposes Travel Ban on U.S., Canada and 8 Other Countries Over Omicron Fears

As of December 22, Israel has reported 1,357,974 cases and 8,232 deaths.

December 14 – Israel banned nationals from traveling to two more European countries

Israel has restricted foreigners from entering the country and issued 3- to 7-day self-isolation order for Israelis returning from overseas.

On Sunday, authorities announced they were adding Britain and Denmark to the list of countries Israelis are forbidden to visit.

So far, more than 50 countries, mainly in Southern Africa, have been added to the “red” list since Omicron cases have been detected on their territories.

Read our full post: Israel Bans All Travel To Denmark And UK Due To The Omicron Spread

November 29 – Israel has banned all foreign travelers from entering starting Nov. 28

Starting Sunday, Israel decided to ban foreigners from entering the country for 14 days and resumed tracking infected people, the High-Level Coronavirus Cabinet approved on Saturday.

The quarantine measure also includes fully vaccinated Israelis returning home. They must now undergo mandatory quarantine and take a COVID-19 test on day 3 of their arrival.

Unvaccinated travelers must stay in quarantine for seven days at least.

“The key here is caution and minimal risks until we learn more. We want… an open and functioning Israel, with a functioning economy, and an active education system with children going to school. That’s the top priority,” said the PM.

November 18 – Israel could ban travel from some European countries, says government

Both, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Bennett and the ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash spoke about the increasing COVID cases and deaths in Europe.

Prof. Ash said that considering the surge in morbidity in many European countries some nations could be put under a travel ban.

Bennett went on to say that Israel’s success in managing the fourth wave should not lead to complacency.

“It is impossible to know what awaits us around the corner… We must not rest on our laurels. We must keep our finger on the pulse.”

The countries Israel may be about to bar from entering are yet to be announced. 

Nov. 2 – Israel reopens to individual tourists from low-risk countries

After 20 months of closure, Israel has finally reopened for individual tourism. Until Sunday, it would only receive small groups of selected tourists from the United States and Europe.  

Under the new policy, only tourists who have been vaccinated within the 180 days prior to arriving in Israel will be allowed.

Another good news is that by mid-November Israel will allow entry to visitors immunized with Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19. 

This was an unexpected move considering that multiple countries including the EU, as well as the US, have not approved the Russian vaccine.

Read our full post: Israel Confirms Reopening for International Tourism on November 1

October 13 – Israel plans to reopen for international tourism on Nov. 21

Israel’s Health Ministry is said to be considering allowing fully vaccinated tourists starting Nov. 21 as per local news outlets.

According to Globes, in the first phase of the reopening Israel will allow travelers from 40 countries. Most of them would be European Union countries with which Israel has mutually recognized immunization standards.

Only travelers who have received a full series of a Covid-19 vaccine within six months of their visit, or who have received a third booster dose, will be welcomed back. 

The official reopen date is expected to be revealed around Nov. 1 

September 26 – Israel’s Coronavirus Advisory Panel Urges Government to Enforce New COVID restrictions, No Signes of Reopening 

Coronavirus cases continue to rise across Israel due to the spread of the Delta variant severely affecting both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. 

The panel believes that it’s “unreasonable” to continue applying the same strategies. An expert told Channel 12 that the vaccination campaigns’ outreach has not been enough to reduce the spread of the virus.

As of today, Israel is registering the highest number of serious cases of Covid since the beginning of September.

The panel suggests limiting indoor gatherings to 300 people, and requesting citizens to have a booster shot to be issued a Green Pass vaccine passport.

Source: Times of Israel

September 9 – Israel to partially reopen for fully vaccinated tourists on Sept. 19, says government. 

In a bid to boost the tourism industry, Bennett’s government will allow small groups of 5 to 30 people from Israel’s green, yellow and orange lists to enter the country for tourism, the tourism ministry said on Sunday.

This is interesting. All visitors must have their last vaccine shot within the six months prior to entering Israel to be considered eligible. 

Visitors will also need to submit a pre-departure negative Covid-19 test and agree to take a serological one on arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

The number of small groups of tourists will not be limited this time. 

Source: Reuters

August 28 – COVID-19 skyrockets despite high vaccine uptake in Israel

During the first months of the vaccination drives, Israel topped the most effective immunization campaigns worldwide. Once the country reached herd immunity it would be one of the first, if not the first, to recover the much-wanted pre-pandemic normality.

But that’s not the current Israel’s landscape. As of today, an average of nearly 7,500 people test positive for COVID-19 per day — double the infection rate of two weeks ago.

More than 1 million people still remain unvaccinated, 16 percent belong to the ultra-Orthodox community who refuse to take the vaccine and 31 percent are Israeli Arabs, with the rest belonging to the rest of citizens.

Source: Business Insider

August 12 – Israel to require visitors to present digital “Green Pass” to access hotels and other venues from August 17

Restrictions are back in Israel. On Wednesday, the Cabinet approved requiring visitors and locals to present a “Green Pass” that shows they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so they can enter businesses such as museums, bars, restaurants and hotels as well as sporting events, conferences and exhibitions.

Despite its massive vaccination campaign, one of the fastest in the world, Israel has been experiencing a new coronavirus spike in recent weeks. The Health Ministry reported 5,755 new cases on Wednesday, the highest daily figure in 6 months.

Unvaccinated people can also present a negative COVID-19 every time they want to access these places. 

Source: The Times of Israel

July 28 – Israel to reopen COVID hospital wards – reopening plans in September jeopardized

The international community witnessed how one of the most vaccinated countries in the world is reopening hospitals’ COVID-19 wards due to the Delta variant. Israel has gone from having 19 people in UCIs last month to 153 serious cases and 35 patients fighting for their lives at the moment, according to Health Ministry data. 

“With morbidity rates rising in Israel and around the world due to the delta variant, discussions are continuing with the relevant government ministries regarding an opening date for incoming individual tourism. An announcement will be made when relevant.” the Tourism Ministry told reporters on July 21.

Adi Licher, company director at AR Eland Tours, stated that nobody believes the country will reopen in September. “September in Israel will be a month full of holidays, so I don’t think they are going to open it in September, and even if it will be open, nobody will come.”

Source: The Jerusalem Post

July 13 – Israel to postpone international borders reopening until September, 2021

Israel’s plan to resume international travel on August 1st could be delayed as an increased number of outbreaks linked to the highly contagious Delta variant raise concerns over the further spread of the virus. 

The decision has not been announced yet. However, local media has reported that the Health Ministry will submit this recommendation to the cabinet this week. 

So far, only small groups of selected people are allowed entry to the country.

Source: The Times of Israel

June 29 – Israel put off borders reopening to tourism until August 1 due to the new Delta variant

Israel was set to reopen borders to international vaccinated travelers on July 1. 

Unfortunately, due to an increase in coronavirus outbreaks linked to the new so-called Delta variant the government had to postpone the reopening until August 1. 

“We have decided to treat this as a new outbreak. We intend to cut it off here, take a pail of water and douse the flames while they are still small,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett last week. 

Bennet also approved the renewal of the coronavirus cabinet to monitor the response against this new threat. 

(Source: Times of Israel)

April 16 – Limited groups of vaccinated tourists will be allowed entry to Israel beginning May 23. 

Effective May 23 -limited groups of fully vaccinated international tourists- will have the privilege to come visit and do tourism in Israel. 

All arrivals will need to bring a negative COVID-19 test result, take a serological test to prove the existence of COVID-19 antibodies. This means the authorities will be checking if the traveler is actually vaccinated against COVID-19. 

As of now, the country is reportedly working on a mutual-recognition vaccination passport to reopen travel corridors with a number of countries. 

Additionally, given its incredibly successful vaccination campaign, the country announced people won’t need to wear a face mask at a public space anymore starting tomorrow.