After closing the door to tourists in late November due to the threat of the new Omicron variant, Israel has finally decided to allow in tourists as of midnight on Saturday, Israel time. This is mostly due to the fact that Omicron is now in Israel as well, and banning tourists will not change that fact. There will be no more “red countries;” everyone will be allowed in provided they meet several requirements (as per Yad L’Olim):
You are vaccinated with a second or third (booster) dose within 180 days. 14 days must have passed since your second or third shot. If more than 180 days have passed since your booster, Israel will honor it until the end of February 2022.
OR You hold a digital recovery certificate from the last 180 days from the EU or UK (with a QR code). They are working on solutions for those who have recovered outside of the EU/UK but as of now, this is the situation. However, it does appear that one can be recovered with one shot; but at this point I'm not sure yet how they plan to prove the initial recovery without the digital recovery certificate.
Children: At this point in time there is no automatic allowance for unvaccinated children of any age. If you need to travel with your children you can try to get a permit from the consulate but these will only be granted in extreme, serious emergency situations (i.e. not tourism).
If you fall into one of the above categories, all you have to to enter Israel is:
*Complete the pre-flight form within 48 hours of your flight:
*Get a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure to Israel or a negative lab-based antigen within 24 hours of departure to Israel. (You are exempted from this requirement if you have a positive PCR to show from between 11 days and 3 months before your flight.)
*Schedule your pcr test for when you arrive in Israel: https://testngo.femi.com/en/sign-in
Quarantine: You will need to quarantine for up to 24 hours or when you receive your negative PCR back from Ben Gurion - whichever comes first. This can be done of course in your hotel room (or other residence).
Keep In Mind: If you do test positive upon arrival in Israel, you must go into quarantine for ten days and the authorities are very strict about this. Please take this into account when deciding to fly to Israel during this time period. Obviously you will want to be very careful in the time between your test before flying until you arrive in Israel, including in the airports during travel. Additionally, recently recovered Corona patients may continue to test positive upon arrival at Ben Gurion. If this happens to you, please be aware that you must apply for release from quarantine and it can take time and effort to secure that release.
Of course Omicron is expected to be with us in force for the next month or two, but this is a great time to start planning a trip for this spring and beyond. Your resident tour guide of Israel is vaccinated and boostered and will likely be getting shot #4 in the coming weeks.
I am ready to go whenever you are!
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