Details of Israel’s Tourist Entry Plan Emerge, Questions Still Remain

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel Tourist Entry Plan
(Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The new policy allowing recently vaccinated tourists to enter Israel is set to take effect on Monday, November 1.

However, due to widespread confusion and misinformation regarding the plan, Chaim V’Chessed reports here the details of the arrangement, as confirmed with government officials.

IMPORTANT: Permits issued prior to November 1 (under the previous rules) will be honored if travelers depart on October 31, even if they land on November 1. There is some uncertainty whether existing permits will be honored after November 1. Hence, if you have already obtained a permit, you may wish to consider moving your flight up to today, October 31.

We can now confirm that visa holders will not be allowed entry to Israel if they do not meet the new criteria. Hence, if this applies to you, do not leave Israel at this time, if you wish to return in the near future. This is particularly relevant for children holding visas, who have not recovered in the last six months and cannot be vaccinated.

The following are the new rules for entry of foreigners to Israel. The official Ministry of Health guidance may be viewed here.

Vaccinated or Recovered Abroad

Non-Israeli citizens or residents who meet one of the following criteria are eligible to enter Israel as of November 1:

  1. Vaccinated: You have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognized by the World Health Organization*, and 14 days have passed since your last vaccine, and you will leave Israel within 180 days of your last vaccine.
  2. Recovered: You have a positive PCR/NAAT Covid test taken at least 11 days before travel, and not more than 190 days before you leave Israel. However, these results must be digitally verifiable, such as in EU countries. Other results will not be accepted. This means that recovered patients from the United States, Canada and other countries will not be granted entry if they are not fully vaccinated, with the last dose in the last six months.
  3. Recovered and Vaccinated: You have a digitally verifiable, positive PCR/NAAT Covid test and at least one vaccination from anytime.

Once again, positive PCR/ NAAT results to prove recovery must be digital and verifiable. Vaccination records need not be digital. At this time, it is unclear whether a valid Tav Yarok or a Michtav Hachlama based on serology will be accepted. Positive serological results (antibodies) are not acceptable documentation to prove recovery.

Vaccinated or Recovered in Israel

Non-citizens who are recognized by the Ministry of Health as vaccinated or recovered in the last six months, or who have recovered and received at least one vaccine (regardless of time elapsed), are eligible to enter Israel.

Entry Process

All travelers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, will need to verify their documents and receive clearance to enter Israel via this online entry form, which can be submitted beginning 48 hours prior to travel. Once verified, travelers will receive a Tav Yarok by email before their departure. Additionally, travelers of all ages need to show proof of a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of departure. The only exception to this are travelers who tested positive for Covid in the previous 90 days.

Upon entry, all travelers must take a PCR test in the airport, as before. Upon receipt of a negative result, or after 24 hours, whichever comes first, they will be able to leave quarantine. There will no longer be a need for a serological test on arrival.

At this point, it is unclear whether babies under 12 months will be allowed to enter Israel without providing proof of recovery.

The rules for entry and quarantine for Israeli citizens and permanent residents, whether vaccinated or not, will remain the same as previously.

Sanctions for Violations

Foreigners who contract Covid while in Israel will be compelled to quarantine in government Corona hotels, at their own expense. The details of this rule are not yet known. It is unclear if this will apply to visa holders or only tourists. Those who refuse to comply will be banned from entering Israel for five years.

Authorities will randomly check documentation for authenticity. Foreigners arriving in Israel who are found not to be in compliance with entry criteria will be returned to their place of origin. Those who have presented fraudulent documentation will be banned from entering Israel for five years.

Chaim V’Chessed adds: “We strongly urge all travelers to comply fully with the new entry rules. Failure to do so may cause a Chillul Hashem and have serious legal consequences. Please do not contact Chaim V’Chessed or our partner organizations in cases of persons utilizing fraudulent documentation. We will not assist in such cases, in any fashion.”