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.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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7 Comments

  1. I’ve got to say anywhere that PCR-tests on arrival remains a no from me – know far too many people who have ended up in quarantine facilities in Singapore, Thailand and other places who left London with a negative PCR and ended up positive on the other side. Be it different methodologies, test sensitives, etc., it’s just too much of a gamble…

  2. Agree with Pete. The “threat” of being quarantined in a foreign country is an issue. Also – the return trip is a bugger, too. I hoped to go to Switzerland, but coming back a test is required before boarding. Can’t afford to be quarantined in Switzerland. And besides, what’s the threat if I was in Switzerland and got the bug – going to the US where we have 700K cases a day? Am I threat? Nah…

  3. Yeah, agree with the others above. This is just dumb on so many levels. Testing on arrival and departure is dog shit to me. When vaccination in the past 6 months is enough alone, I’ll start to look at long haul trips once again. Until then, it’s stateside. Oh and when Japan opens in 2025 🙂

  4. Look at the rules for entry to Israel carefully before booking!

    For example, Israel is currently not accepting documents showing recovery from the US. Only from the EU and UK.

    Israel is accepting vaccination records from the US. But they will only allow you entry if your second or third mRNA vaccine is within the past six months.

  5. If your third shot, the booster, is past the 6 months, how do you get qualified again? The USA doesn’t have a 4th shot, so even though I’m fully VaxCertPH, how do I get in for Easter when I’m past the 6 months? Overkill?

  6. unfortnately, Israel is now full of “shedders'” from the phony spike protein “vaccine” , so going there would be a risk for the all the smart ones who didn’t get an experimental spike protein gene therapy shot that they ahd to sign a waiver for just because someone in the FDA or imposter government who does not care a rats A$$ about them told them to,… we will pass for now

  7. The most “vaccinated” country in the world, also has the highest covid rates in the world…[ look it up ] and we should reward them by going there because??? SMDH

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