Relaxation of Restrictions on Entry into Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
The almost empty arrival hall at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on February 28. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

As of Wednesday, at 8:00 a.m., entry restrictions to Israel will be somewhat relaxed. Contrary to numerous erroneous and or misleading reports, this does not mean that Israel is opening its borders to foreign tourists.

Rather, as was the case prior to January, foreign family members will be able to apply for and obtain entry permits to enter Israel for various special circumstances such as simchas (weddings, bar mitzvahs and births), medical emergencies, deaths and to visit lone soldiers.

It appears that some categories will require petitioners to have been vaccinated/recovered. This means that, for the first time, there will be some recognition of vaccination/recovery from abroad. However, such passengers will still be required to quarantine upon arrival in Israel, unless they obtain a quarantine exemption based on serological tests, according to Chaim v’Vechesed.

The official announcement by the Interior Ministry can be found here (Hebrew).

The following updated regulations will become valid:

  • Boarding a plane will not be permitted without obtaining prior approval from the Population and Immigration Authority or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Entry into Israel will not be approved without a negative coronavirus PCR test result conducted up to 72 hours before departure from the country of origin, and an additional test upon arrival in Israel.
  • In exceptional cases – a request may be submitted to the Entry Committee for entry without a PCR test.
  • The entry of foreigners into Israel is subject to the presentation of valid health insurance (including a clause covering COVID).

The following are the exceptional cases in which, after examination, the entry of foreign citizens into Israel will be approved:

All foreign citizens wishing to enter Israel must prove vaccination or recovery from COVID (except infants up to one year of age).

A citizen or permanent resident whose center of life is abroad and who has a first-degree family member (proof will be required from Population registry and with notarized documents via applications to Population Authority offices) in Israel can come with his spouse and children to visit Israel, even if they are foreign citizens.

Foreign citizens who are not vaccinated or recovered from COVID can enter if they are married to an Israeli citizen or permanent resident. (with marriage registered in the Population Registry via application to Population Authority offices or directly through the Israel Consulate in the country of origin. Foreign citizens residing abroad for whom an application for a marital relationship has been submitted by Israeli citizens or permanent residents — will be allowed to enter after receiving approval from the responsible Population Authority office.)

Foreign citizens residing abroad who are married to Israeli citizens or permanent residents (who are in the process of obtaining status) as well as their minor children, will be allowed to enter along with accompanying minors by virtue of the process for obtaining status (for couples overseas via the Israel Consulate.) Their children’s entry will be approved by the relevant Population Authority office if they are part of the process for obtaining status via marital relationship.

Students

On a one-time basis, students who are currently abroad and will arrive after Pesach will be allowed to enter according to a closed list submitted to Border Control by the Council for Higher Education.

For new and old adult yeshivah students who wish to begin their studies in Israel, a request will be made by the yeshivah in accordance with the instructions sent to the yeshivah directors and with prior approval from the Ministry of Health. After receiving the “Purple Badge,” the yeshivah will send a list of students to the relevant consulate, for the purpose of issuing boarding permits.

On a one-time basis, yeshivah students with a valid visa who stayed in Israel and traveled on vacation and have a vaccination certificate or confirmation that they recovered from COVID, will be approved to enter according to an existing list that has been submitted to Border Control by the yeshivah directors.

Weddings

Attendance at a wedding of Israeli citizens, permanent residents or foreign citizens, whose center of life is legally in Israel: the parents of the bride or groom may enter in accordance with the quarantine requirements of the Ministry of Health. Additional first-degree family members may enter only if they are vaccinated or have recovered from corona disease.

Births

Arrival for births will be approved for first-degree family members only if they are vaccinated or recovering.

Funerals

Arriving at a funeral held in Israel, will be approved for first-degree mourners only and for the funeral only (24 hours), participation in the shivah will be according to the quarantine rules of the Ministry of Health.

Foreign Businesspeople

Vaccinated foreign businesspeople wishing to attend business meetings in Israel are required to present a permit from the Ministry of Economy. Unvaccinated businesspeople are required to add the approval of the Ministry of Health.

Foreign citizens have been barred from entering Israel since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.


Updated Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 1:44 pm .