The ministers of tourism and health have agreed on a framework for the opening of Israel to foreign tourists after more than a year of border closures. In the first stage, groups will be allowed in, with a limited number of groups allowed to arrive from 23 May. The number is expected to be increased based on the health situation.
Individual travellers will be allowed into Israel in the second stage of its reopening, with health considerations determining the timeline. All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding a flight to Israel, and a serological test to prove their vaccination upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.
Israel is the first vaccinated country
In the meantime, countries are discussing agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test. A detailed outline will be released in the upcoming days, the Israel Tourist Office said.
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said: “Israel is the first vaccinated country, and the citizens of Israel are the first to enjoy this result. After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the Covid year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation.”
Reviving the tourism industry
Tourism minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen added: “It is time that Israel’s unique advantage as a safe and healthy country start to assist it in recovering from the economic crisis, and not only serve other countries’ economies. Only opening the skies for international tourism will truly revive the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotels, sites, tour guides, busses and others looking to work and provide for their families. I will continue to work for the full opening of tourism to Israel, which will greatly assist the Israeli economy and create workplaces for many Israelis.”