Published on : Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Israel has decided to reopen its borders to international travellers on May 23 after more than a year. However, all visitors will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be allowed to arrive at the country and will also be expected to travel in groups.
The annoucement follows a deal between Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash-Hacohen, and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein, on a framework for the reopening. In the first stage, groups will be allowed in under guidelines set to be published by the ministries. Following an initial reopening, numbers will be increased based on the health situation.
Individual travellers will be allowed into Israel in the second stage, with health considerations determining the timeline. All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding a flight to Israel, as well as a serological test to prove their vaccination upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test.
Minister Edelstein said in a statement that Israel is the first vaccinated country, and the citizens of Israel are the first to enjoy the result. He said that after opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. He mentioned that opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the COVID-19 year and shared that officials will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation.
Farkash-Hacohen added that she is pleased to give the important first step to the tourism industry and said that opening the skies for international tourism will truly revive the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotels, sites, tour guides, busses and others looking to work and provide for their families. She mentioned that she will continue will continue to work for the full opening of tourism to Israel, which will greatly assist the Israeli economy and create workplaces for many Israelis.