From next month, tourists will be able to visit Israel without having been vaccinated. This will be two years that unvaccinated foreign visitors will be admitted

 

Israel opens its borders

On Sunday 20 February 2022, the Israeli government announced that it would be easing its border restrictions for unvaccinated travellers starting next month. Starting 1st March, people flying into the country will no longer need to show evidence of vaccination; however, they will still be required to carry out a PCR test upon arrival. Israel has employed a stringent border policy from the very start of the pandemic, disallowing almost all foreign tourists since March 2020. Next month will be the first time since the pandemic that unvaccinated foreigners will be able to enter the country legally.

el al flight taking off
Travellers will also be required to take a PCR upon departure | © Anujan Anton / Travel Radar

The doors were opened to vaccinated visitors on 1 November last year. However, the spread of Omicron led to a temporary shutdown. There were also plans to reopen borders for summer 2021, however these were set back by the spread of the Delta variant. The latest easing of restrictions follows the rapid fall in Omicron cases in the country since their peak in January. According to the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University, there has been a 63 per cent decline in new coronavirus cases in the past two weeks. The Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commented:

We are seeing a steady decline in the morbidity data; therefore, this is the time to gradually open what we were the first in the world to close.”

 

What are the new rules?

Though unvaccinated travellers will now be admitted entry to Israel, they will still have to complete a PCR test upon arrival. This is mandatory for all foreign visitors, who, once having taken the test, will be required to go to their planned accommodation and quarantine for 24hrs or until they receive a negative test result.The rules have also been eased for unvaccinated Israeli nationals, who will no longer be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival when testing negative. Additionally, all travellers, whether citizens or tourists will have to take a PCR test upon departure from the country.

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