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Israel Now Open To Individual Tourists 

Travelers from all countries are welcome, without the need to obtain an entry permit.

The time has come that travelers — and Israel’s tourism industry — have been waiting for, since the pandemic shut out much of foreign travel through Ben-Gurion International Airport in March 2020.

As of Nov. 1, Israel reopened for individual travelers from all countries, without the need to obtain an entry permit — only a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure, and an online Inbound Passenger Statement.

Each entering tourist also must present a vaccination certificate less than six months old, certifying that the bearer was vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J, Sinovac or Sinopharm. Sputnik V will be recognized from Nov. 15.

Unvaccinated, recovered travelers may not enter Israel from the United States but can enter from the European Union with a digitized recovery certificate from the past six months (no such document currently is available in the United States).

Incoming travelers will no longer have to get a serological test to obtain an early release from quarantine. They will take a PCR test upon arrival at the airport, and may leave quarantine as soon as the negative result is received — normally within 12 hours.

Until now, individual tourists could enter Israel only under certain conditions, with special permission. Group travel restrictions were relaxed in recent months.

To understand the impact of the tourism slowdown, in September 2020 there were 15,100 tourists entries compared to 405,000 in September 2019. From January through September 2021, there were 243,500 tourist entries into Israel, compared to 782,700 in the corresponding period in 2020. A record 4.55 million tourists arrived in Israel in 2019.

Foreigners caught with forged documents will be refused entry to Israel for five years.

Foreigners who test positive for COVID on arrival or during their visit to Israel will be required to quarantine in a coronavirus hotel; those who refuse or who break isolation also will be refused entry for five years.

For further details and updates, check the websites of the Ministry of Health and the Population and Immigration Authority.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism restarted its tourist pilot program from Sept. 19, allowing organized tourist groups of five to 30 tourists from “green, yellow and orange” countries to visit Israel.

Orange countries, then including the United States and United Kingdom and most other countries, were considered at risk due to their COVID-19 statistics.

Israel, which has 63.3 percent of people fully vaccinated, had 41,888 new cases and 334 deaths in the past month, according to data from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.

The United States, with 58.6 percent of the population vaccinated, had 2.3 million cases and 44,656 deaths in the past month, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Produced in association with Israel21C.

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