Israel Ministries of Health and Tourism have reached an understanding that will allow vaccinated tourists to enter Israel starting May 23. In the first phase, only tour groups will be able to enter the country, as they are easier to monitor. “The opening of tourism is great news for one of the industries that was hit the hardest during this pandemic,” according to Israeli Health Minister.
Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Minister of Tourism, and Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Minister of Health, have reached an understanding to jump-start inbound tourism, and allow vaccinated foreign tourists to enter the country.
Starting May 23, 2021, Israel’s gates will initially open for groups of vaccinated tourists, as they are easier to monitor. A quota will be set for tour groups visiting Israel, and if the first phase is successful, the government wil consider further easing of regulations.
Tourists will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding, plus another PCR and serological test upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, to prove vaccinnation or recovery. At the same time, the Israeli government will continue to negotiate with countries over mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, in order to remove the need for serological tests.
Health Minister Edelstein said, “Israel is the first vaccinated nation, and the citizens of Israel are the first to enjoy its fruits. Now that we have opened our economy, it is time to facilitate tourism in a timely and calculated manner. “The opening of tourism is great news for one of the industries that was hit the hardest during this pandemic. We will continue to consider further easing of regulations, as long as morbidity rates remain low.”
Tourism Minister Farkash-Hacohen added: “I am pleased to bring these good tidings to the industry. It is time that Israel’s advantage as a safe and healthy country helps us rehabilitate the Israeli economy… Only opening the skies for inbound tourism will truly revive this industry, including restaurants, hospitality, sites, tour guides, buses and many others who wish to go back to work and provide for their families. I will continue to push for a full return of inbound tourism to Israel, as it will greatly assist the our economy and provide jobs that are sorely needed.”