Quarantine Rules to Change for Vaccinated Israelis

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli police officer enforcing the COVID-19 regulations at Ben Gurion Airport. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The Health Ministry has decided to relax its quarantine requirements for travelers returning from abroad.

Starting September 3, Israelis will no longer have to go into isolation if they have had their third Covid booster shot, or received their second vaccination less than six months ago, according to the ministry’s latest instructions.

The revised rules were announced on Monday, ahead of a High Court hearing on a petition alleging discrimination against Israelis who have been vaccinated.

Since mid-July Israelis returning from most countries have been required to undergo 14 days isolation, though it could be abbreviated if they test negative after the seventh day. At present Israelis can only return from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland without isolating (as well as countries that don’t allow in Israelis like New Zealand and Singapore).

The change comes as the Chagim approach and the annual increase in travel abroad is expected, with flights to North America and Western Europe, as well as Dubai and Casablanca.

Only ‘red’ countries, such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Mexico and Brazil will remain off limits for Israelis, whether vaccinated or not.

Regardless of vaccinations, Israelis returning home must present a ‘fit to fly’ negative PCR test before boarding their flights and take another PCR test after landing at Ben Gurion airport.

Meanwhile, two more cases of the Delta offshoot variant AY3 were detected among returning travelers in recent days, Army Radio reports.

The Health Ministry announced the first AY3 cases in Israel earlier this month, saying that 16 infections traced to the variant were found in the country.

There was no immediate confirmation of the new cases from the ministry.