Travelers arriving at Ben Gurion Airport

Israel to allow in all tourists regardless of COVID vaccination status

Government decision will take effect March 1; entering the country will still require two PCR tests, one before flying in and one upon landing; PM announces end to testing regime in schools

Reuters, Itamar Eichner |
Published: 02.20.22, 16:55
Israel will begin allowing entry to all tourists, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, from March 1, a statement from the prime minister's office said on Sunday.
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  • Entry into Israel will still require two PCR tests, one before flying in and one upon landing in the country, the statement said.
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    נוסעים בנתב"ג
    נוסעים בנתב"ג
    Travelers arriving at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: Assaf Kamar)
    Currently only COVID-19 vaccinated foreigners are allowed into Israel.
    "We are seeing a consistent decline in morbidity numbers, so this is the time to gradually open up what we were the first in the world to close," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
    Israel first shut its borders to foreigners in March 2020. The number of visitors has slowly risen as the country lifted some restrictions, but they remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
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    עומס בנתב"ג
    עומס בנתב"ג
    Long lines stretching in check-in booths at Ben Gurion Airport, December 16, 2021
    (Photo: Shmulik Davidpur)
    Some 46,000 tourists entered Israel last month, up from 7,800 a year earlier but way lower than the 333,000 that visited in January 2020.
    Israelis will no longer be required to take a rapid antigen test before boarding a plane back home, but only a PCR test upon arriving at the airport.
    Unvaccinated Israelis will not be required to isolate, subject to a negative PCR test result taken at the airport.
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    ישיבת ממשלה
    ישיבת ממשלה
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennet speaks during a government meeting, February 20, 2022
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
    "At the same time, we will keep a finger on the pulse, and in case of a new variant we will react quickly," Bennett said.
    The statement further noted that secondary and high school will no longer require to be tested for coronavirus starting Thursday, February 24. Testing for primary school students will be scrapped two weeks later, on March 10.
    The current testing regime in schools came under harsh criticism from educators who claimed they were aware of cases in which parents falsified reports about their children's test results and sent them to school despite testing positive for the virus.
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