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Coronavirus: Vaccinated foreigners to be allowed into Israel in May

CM 13/04/2021

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Vaccinated tourists are going to be allowed into Israel starting from May 23, the Health and Tourism ministries announced on Tuesday.
In the first phase, only individuals traveling in groups will be able to enter the country, as they are considered easier to monitor. According to the statement, the authorities will decide whether to also include regular visitors based on the results of the pilot with groups.
Those who wish to travel to Israel will have to undergo a PCR test before boarding the flight, as well as a PCR test and a serological test upon arrival at the airport. The PCR test indicates whether an individual is carrying the virus; the serological test proves the presence of antibodies in their blood.
Currently, Israel does not recognize any foreign vaccination or recovery certificate, although the authorities are currently in negotiation with several countries to do so. Anyone who is vaccinated abroad is still required to quarantine until they undergo a serological test, which attests to their antibodies level.
Last week, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that they are looking into creating a fast serological testing complex at Ben-Gurion Airport. A PCR testing facility is already operating at the airport, administering a PCR test to all those who land. The results are ready in 14 hours or less.
Israeli borders have been closed to foreign citizens for a year, with very limited exceptions. Last week, the government announced that foreigners who have a first-degree relative who is a citizen or a permanent resident of Israel could enter the country, undergoing a procedure similar to the one required for vaccinated tourists.
A more detailed outline will be released in the upcoming days.

“Israel is the first vaccinated nation, and the citizens of Israel have been the first to enjoy it,” Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said. “[Now that we have] opened our economy, it is time to facilitate tourism in a considered and careful manner.
“The opening of tourism is an important development for one of the industries that during the pandemic year was hit the hardest,” he added. “We will continue to examine additional reliefs in accordance with the morbidity data.”
“The time has come for Israel to enjoy the advantage of being a safe and healthy country, and for this to help rehabilitate the Israeli economy and the tourism industry and not other economies,” Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-HaCohen pointed out.
“Only the opening of incoming international tourism will really succeed in bringing back the sector of tourism, restaurants, hospitality, sites, guides, commuters and many more who can finally return to make their living with dignity,” she said. “I will continue to push for a full return of inbound tourism to Israel, which will greatly assist the Israeli economy and provide jobs that are needed so much by many today.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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