Israel’s COVID travel rules change Monday – here are the details

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The new scheme for inbound tourists is supposed to begin on November 1, with qualifying individual travelers being able to arrive in the country without special permission. The concept is to open the sky to more travelers interested in visiting the Jewish state.

“Israel’s Ministry of Tourism is pleased to welcome the long-awaited return of individual vaccinated tourists,” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. “Once again, tourists from all over the world can make their reservations and enjoy the unique, diverse and safe tourism products that Israel has to offer. “

However, on Sunday evening, hundreds of travelers were stranded at airports unable to board their flights until airlines were made aware of the new policy and told them they could let people board the base. their vaccination documents.

A special form, which travelers were urged to complete, has yet to be updated according to the new rules, and a source at the health ministry said it was not intended to be updated until. Monday noon – long after the people had traveled to Israel. some places overseas would need them to get their green passes and qualify for entry.

Assuming the pieces fall into place, with help from the Ministry of Health, here are the details you need to know if you are eligible to enter Israel and, if so, how to do it:

TRAVELERS WALK through Ben Gurion Airport earlier this year. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI / FLASH90)

Who can enter Israel?

Any foreign national who:

  • Has been vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization or with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, but only under certain conditions (see below)
  • Has recovered from coronavirus in the past six months or received a booster since recovering over six months ago, but only by certain criteria (see below)
  • Did not spend time in a “red” country with high infection rates in the 14 days before arriving in Israel
  • Arrival via Ben Gurion airport.

Which vaccines have WHO approval?

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer
  • Johnson & Johnson / Janssen
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac.

What are the rules for vaccinated visitors?

For all vaccines approved by WHO, except Johnson & Johnson, the following criteria apply:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the person received two injections of these vaccines or a booster and no more than 180 days.

For those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

  • At least 14 days have passed since the person received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Johnson & Johnson is a single injection vaccine) and no more than 180 days.

What about a recovered person?

  • Recovered people must have a reference that the Ministry of Health system can digitally authenticate, i.e. a certificate of recovery or a PCR test
  • The person must have been infected at least 11 days before the attempted entry and no more than 190 days, unless the person has received a booster dose of a WHO-approved vaccine.

Is Sputnik V different?

  • Foreigners vaccinated with Sputnik cannot begin entering the country until November 15 and must undergo a serological test upon arrival. It is only when a positive serological result is received that these people can be released from isolation.
  • These people must have received two injections or a booster of the Sputnik V vaccine at least 14 days before entry and at most 180 days before
  • If a person who has received Sputnik arrives and the serological test is negative, the traveler will be able to choose between staying in Israel in isolation for a minimum of seven days or returning home immediately.

What must be done before entering Israel?

  • A PCR test up to 72 hours before boarding, which must be presented at the boarding gate
  • Passengers must upload either their verifiable digital vaccine or recovery certificate or their paper certifications on the Incoming Passenger Form on the Department of Health website to receive their Green Pass prior to travel. If a person does not have a digital certificate, they will also need to complete an application to shorten the isolation period to receive a Green Pass; this documentation must also be presented
  • A recovered person will also need to bring this digital recovery certificate
  • Before boarding, people who do not meet these criteria but who have received an exceptional entry permit from the Ministry of the Interior must also present this documentation.
  • Travel insurance is also required.

What happens at the entrance?

  • People have to take a PCR test at the airport and wait in isolation until they test negative and 24 hours have passed
  • People vaccinated with Sputnik V should have both a PCR test and a serological test
  • If a person tests positive for COVID-19 while in Israel, they will be transferred to a state-run coronavirus hospital or hotel under the auspices of Home Front Command. Any medical treatment will be the responsibility of the foreigner and the individual’s insurance policy.

What are the penalties for breaking the rules?

  • Foreigner who presents forged document will be denied entry to Israel for five years
  • Foreigner who tests positive for COVID-19 but refuses to stay in hotel or breaks isolation rules will be denied entry to Israel for five years
  • A foreigner who has not tested positive for COVID-19 but still breaks isolation rules will be refused entry to Israel for three years.


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