Jerusalem, 14 April, 2021 (TPS) — Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash-Hacohen and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein have agreed on a framework for the opening of Israel to vaccinated groups of foreign tourists.
Starting on 23 May, Israel will open its gates to foreign nationals after more than a year in which the country’s skies were almost completely closed.
The agreements were reached following the work of the task force set up by the ministries, including Head of Public Health Dr. Sharon Alroey-Preis, and COVID-19 national director Prof. Nachman Ash, as well as professionals from the Ministry of Tourism.
According to the outline, a limited number of groups will start to arrive on 23 May. The number will be increased based on the health situation and progress of the program. Individual travelers will be allowed into Israel in the second stage, with health considerations determining the timeline.
All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding the flight to Israel, and a serological test to prove their vaccination upon arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Meanwhile, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test in Israel.
Israel’s tourism industry was one of the worst hit in the country during the crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein stated Tuesday that “Israel is the first vaccinated country, and the citizens of Israel are the first to enjoy this result. After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner.”
“Opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the COVID year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance to the health situation,” he noted.
Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash-Hacohen said that “it is time that Israel’s unique advantage as a safe and healthy country start to assist it in recovering from the economic crisis, and not only serve other countries’ economies. Only opening the skies for international tourism will truly revive the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotels, sites, tour guides, busses and others looking to work and provide for their families.”
“I will continue to work for the full opening of tourism to Israel, which will greatly assist the Israeli economy and create workplaces for many Israelis,” she said.