Sometimes it’s best to sit on the sidelines and let things play out. We covered Israel’s initial reopening to tourism over the summer, but a series of rapid twists and turns in between then and now were too much to keep up with.
After months of open, closed, open kinda, closed kinda, Israel now has official approval to move forward with a broad tourism reopening, for people vaccinated or recovered from covid-19 within a certain window.
Countries which were previously on the “red” list are now quickly being moved to “green” and “orange”, which will allow for a relatively pain free entry process. As one of the best destinations for winter sun and extraordinary food, it’s seriously good news.
Like all travel during covid-19, entry isn’t quite as simple as waving a passport and hailing a cab, so here’s what you need to know, as the country moves ahead with its travel reopening plans.
Israel’s Big Travel Reopening
January 9th marked a big day for Israeli tourism, as many countries were welcomed back for tourism after years stuck outside. Now, January 13th, marks yet another big milestone, as key visitors from Europe and North America will also be welcomed as “orange” or “green” list arrivals, including the USA, UK, Canada and more.
For fully vaccinated or recovered visitors entering from a “green” or “orange” list country, the rules are pretty straightforward and allow you to enjoy pretty much restriction free access to Israel, within 24 hours of arrival.
Fully vaccinated or recovered people who haven’t been in a red list country in the 14 days prior to arrival in Israel must…
- Fill out a form within 48 hours of departure to Israel.
- Submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, or a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure (no self-test home kits).
- Take a PCR test on arrival in Israel and isolate at hotel until the result (typically under 24hrs).
The big news is that someone landing in Israel should be able to start fully enjoying their trip within 24 hours of arrival. Since the first day is usually a wash of jet lag and travel fatigue, this seems incredibly reasonable.
Making things even better, Israel actually created a stellar resource for making sure that all your paperwork and procedures are in line. You can visit this “Welcome Back” website, which has the latest on critical details and links.
There are also additional resources with greater detail about testing costs and all accepted tests, as well as digital vaccination proof options. The PCR test taken on arrival into Ben Gurion Airport costs circa 100NIS, which is about $32 US Dollars.
If you’ve been considering Israel, GSTP thinks it’s a must. Here’s our 48 hour guide to Tel Aviv, and taking things further, a guide to all the most incredible food and coffee in the city. It’s kinda like the Santa Monica of the Middle East, and the rest of the country is well worth a visit too.