Israel to allow all vaccinated tourists to enter the country from November 1, the authorities said on Thursday.
The decision, pending the approval of the coronavirus cabinet, excludes - at least until December 1 - tourists from countries where the Delta subvariant of coronavirus AY4.2 is rampant and those who have received the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.
Sources said, however, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett - who is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday - may decide to remove recipients of the Sputnik vaccine from the exclusion list.
The decision came following a meeting between Bennett and ministers of health, tourism and transportation as well as their senior staff and medical officials. Also present were representatives of the Attorney General's office.
After tourists were allowed to enter Israel in organized groups in mid-September, a new outline increases the foreign visitor cap to 2,000 per day, but not from countries where morbidity from COVID-19 is high and Israelis themselves are barred from entering.
Ynet has learned that the U.K., which has lifted all of its COVID restrictions, may be included in that list of countries, which will be selected according to the spread of the new subvariant, the vaccination rate and infection figures.
Tourists arriving in organized groups will be exempt from the need to present serological tests and to isolate if they remain with their group throughout their visit, but will be required to test for COVID every three days.
Those among them who have been in countries with high infection rate in the two weeks preceding their arrival to Israel, will not be allowed to enter.
In the decision to allow tourists to enter, Israel recognizes vaccines that have not been administered to Israelis: the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm and the Jannsen vaccines.
Tourists who have recovered from COVID-19 will also be allowed to enter the country if they show a negative molecular test such as PCR at least 11 days prior to their arrival.
Those who have recovered and have also received at least one dose of a World Health Organization-approved vaccine will also be able to enter.
Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov said this was only the beginning of the resumption of tourism to Israel.
"I commend Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz for maintaining a balance between public health and a robust economy, and thank the professional staff that has worked hard to bring the tourism industry back," Razvozov said.