Israel reopens its borders to tourists including Americans
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Editor’s note: This story was updated on Jan. 9, 2022, with new information.
Israel reopened to tourism today. That includes American tourists. Foreigners must be fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19 to be eligible. There are also lots of other rules highlighted below.
The U.S. had been on a “red travel” list, but that list went away as of early this morning. That means Israelis can also now travel to the United States.
Back in November, Israel had banned all tourists from all countries due to the omicron variant, but that ban has now been lifted.
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Two tests, vaccination and short quarantine required
All travelers have to show results of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv (TLV). A second PCR test will be administered at the airport when you arrive.
Travelers must proceed to quarantine until a negative result is received or until 24 hours have elapsed, whichever comes first.
Travelers must also show a vaccine certificate or proof of vaccination. Israel is only accepting European vaccine passports as proof of being recovered from COVID-19 for entry, so Americans who’ve recovered from COVID-19 will still not be able to visit for now.
To be considered fully vaccinated, at least 14 days must have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including those from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and SinoPharm If it has been 180 days (six months) since your final dose, you will need proof of receipt of a booster shot at least 14 days prior to arrival in the country.
Unvaccinated Americans will remain prohibited from entering Israel.
Additional pre-departure steps
In addition to the aforementioned vaccination and pre-departure testing, all travelers will need to complete an online entry form within 48 hours of departure to Israel, where they will upload proof of vaccination or recovery. Note that parents may complete the form on behalf of their children, in addition to spouses, as long as all individuals in the group have been within the same country in the preceding 14 days leading up to arrival in Israel.
“Foreign nationals who do not meet these conditions will be denied entry to Israel and will be required to return to their country of origin,” per Israel’s Health Ministry. “Violators of isolation, who are not confirmed cases, will be denied entry to Israel for a period of three years.”
The same pre-departure and arrival requirements will apply to passengers entering the country by sea or land borders.
Current entry requirements for Israeli citizens are outlined here.
Current COVID-19 situation
Israel is recording record coronavirus infections right now, with more than 19,000 new cases reported on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. That’s the highest number of new cases ever.
Israel already restricts all indoor activities to those who are fully vaccinated, recovered from or recently tested negative for COVID-19 via a “green pass” system. TPG’s Zach Griff detailed his experience obtaining a pass here.
Additional reporting by Clint Henderson.
Featured photo by Filippo Maria Bianchi/Getty Images.
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