With the overall improvement in the COVID-19 situation worldwide, it seems that Israel intends to ease its entry restrictions and allow vaccinated tourists to visit the Holy Land.
Last Thursday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri sent a letter to Border Authority Director-General Shlomo Mor-Yosef, informing him that after consultations with various ministries, and in light of the accelerated vaccination rates in many countries, “there is room to broaden and ease entry into Israel, and to change existing methods of approval that put an enormous strain on Israel’s representatives abroad and the Immigration and Population Authority in the country.”
Outgoing Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen welcomed the news and wrote on her Twitter account: “The time has come for Israel to open up to tourism and to take advantage of its status as a vaccinated country for the benefit of its economy.”
Deri’s announcement means that vaccinated tourists from countries deemed safe by the Ministry of Health will be allowed entry into Israel starting July 1. As part of the first phase of the pilot, 20 groups of vaccinated tourists from countries with mutual recognition of vaccine passports will be allowed to visit Israel from June 15.
However, the question remains whether the new government to be sworn in tomorrow will uphold the decision.