Israel to Reopen to Vaccinated Foreigners From Next Week; U.S. and U.K. Still ‘Red’

YERUSHALAYIM -
People queue in their cars to be tested for coronavirus disease as the country faces a surge in omicron variant infections, in Ashdod, on Monday. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

The Health Ministry announced Monday that it will permit the entry of some tourists into the country starting next Sunday, Jan. 9.

The Health Ministry said it would ease restrictions both on air travel into and out of the country, including exempting vaccinated and confirmed recovered travelers from low- and medium-risk countries from quarantine, once they have received negative PCR test results, or have waited 24 hours without symptoms.

This change in policy is set to go into effect at midnight, following approval by the Knesset’s Health Committee.

Unvaccinated travelers returning to Israel will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days, with an option to shorten the isolation period to one week, with an additional negative PCR test.

Beginning next week, vaccinated tourists or tourists with valid recovery certificates from countries with low or moderate infection rates will be permitted to enter the country.

Prior to their flight, tourists will be required to fill out an entry request and show a negative PCR or rapid antigen test before boarding their flight.

Upon their arrival, tourists will be required to remain in isolation for 24 hours, or until they receive negative results of a new PCR test carried out after arriving in Israel.

Unvaccinated tourists, and residents of “red” countries – including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico and Turkey – will still not be permitted to enter Israel.

In the past few days, however, cases have been skyrocketing, a clear sign that omicron is rampant in Israel.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett mentioned that travel policies were likely going to change in the upcoming days.