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Israel to reopen to fully vaccinated tourists from May 23

April 13, 2021
3 min read
Old Jaffa and distant view of modern Tel Aviv buildings. (Photo by kolderal/Getty Images)
Israel to reopen to fully vaccinated tourists from May 23
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Israel will be reopening to tourists this summer. The country's Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash-Hacohen and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein announced on Tuesday that Israel will allow fully vaccinated tourists to visit from May.

As of May 23, limited numbers of fully vaccinated tourists will be allowed to enter Israel on a leisure basis in groups. Once the borders have reopened to vaccinated travelers, it will be the first time in more than a year that Israel has reopened to non-citizens.

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Following an extremely successful vaccination program to date, Israel is ready to welcome back tourists who have been fully vaccinated from COVID-19 this summer.

Related: White House says fully vaccinated can now travel, updates other guidance

Even though permitted travelers will be vaccinated, Haaretz reports that Israel will require that all arriving passengers have a negative PCR test for COVID-19 before flying as well as an antibody test to prove they have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19. Arriving passengers will also have to undergo a serological test to prove their vaccination status upon their arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV).

The country is also undergoing conversations in order to establish a vaccine certification for travelers, which would remove the need for a passenger to take a serological test on arrival.

Related: Your most prized travel accessory is about to become your vaccine passport

Full details of the program, including who will be allowed in and in what numbers, will be announced by the Israeli government "in the coming days."

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It's believed that as of May 23 when the border reopens that Israel will permit only those traveling in groups. Assuming that infection rates within the country don't rise after the initial reopening, Farkash-Hacohen said Israel will also reopen to individual travelers.

"It is time Israel's unique advantage as a safe and healthy country starts to assist it in recovering from the economic crisis," Farkash-Hacohen said. "Opening the skies for international tourism will truly revive the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotels, sites, tour guides, buses and others looking to work and provide for their families."

According to Reuters, Israel has administered at least 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far — about 56.8% of the population. During the past week, Israel averaged about 21,490 doses each day. The country has widely been regarded as having one of the best vaccine rollout plans.

Related: 6 misconceptions about traveling to Israel

The rate of infection within the country has also been falling. Per 100,000 people in the past seven days, Israel has reported 17 infections. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 836,072 cases of COVID-19 in Israel, as well as nearly 6,300 coronavirus-related deaths.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
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  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.