Israel welcomes individual tourists back into the country

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    A watershed mark in the corona pandemic: As of November 1, individual tourists may enter Israel, under certain conditions.

    This is the moment so many travelers – and Israel’s tourism industry – have been waiting for since the pandemic shut out much of foreign travel through Ben-Gurion International Airport in March 2020.

    Effective November 1, Israel is reopening for individual travelers from all countries, without the need to obtain an entry permit – only a negative PCR test took up to 72 hours before departure and an online Inbound Passenger Statement.

    Each entering tourist also must present a vaccination certificate less than six months old, certifying that the bearer was vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J, Sinovac, or Sinopharm; Sputnik V will be recognized from November 15.

    Unvaccinated, recovered travelers may not enter Israel from the United States but can enter from the European Union with a digitized recovery certificate from the past six months (no such document currently is available in the United States).

    Incoming travelers will no longer have to get a serological test to obtain an early release from quarantine. They will take a PCR test upon arrival at the airport, and may leave quarantine as soon as the negative result is received — normally within 12 hours.

    Until now, individual tourists could enter Israel only under certain conditions, with special permission. Group travel restrictions were relaxed in recent months.

    To understand the impact of the tourism slowdown, in September 2020 there were 15,100 tourists entries compared to 405,000 in September 2019. From January through September 2021, there were 243,500 tourist entries into Israel, compared to 782,700 in the corresponding period in 2020. A record 4.55 million tourists arrived in Israel in 2019.

    Don’t consider submitting fraudulent forms: Foreigners caught with forged documents will be refused entry to Israel for five years.

    Foreigners who test positive for Covid on arrival or during their visit to Israel will be required to quarantine in a coronavirus hotel; those who refuse or who break isolation also will be refused entry for five years.


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