Israel started welcoming individual tourists on Monday, allowing vaccinated visitors to enter the country for the first time in more than 18 months.
Tourists from several nations around the world, including the United States, were welcome starting Nov. 1, a move that had been delayed previously.
The decision came after Israel opened its borders to groups in May before temporarily pausing the reopening in August due to the spread of the delta variant. In September, the country once again started welcoming fully vaccinated small groups.“To say we are excited that Israel is reopening to travelers today is an understatement,” Eyal Carlin, the ministry’s tourism commissioner for North America, said in a statement. “Israel has taken incredible steps to protect its people and visitors and we pride ourselves on ensuring a COVID-safe and unforgettable trip to those who will be entering our beautiful country. With leading vaccination rates and endless opportunities for outdoor activities, we are eager to welcome visitors back with open arms — of course, at a safe social distance.”
To enter the country, individual travelers will have to show proof they have received two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days but not more than six months before coming. If it has been more than six months since their final dose, Israel requires visitors to have received a booster dose at least 14 days before entering the country, according to the Israel Ministry of Tourism.
Israel will also welcome travelers who have received the AstraZeneca, Sinovac, or Sinopharm vaccines.
All travelers who enter Israel must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight, fill out a passenger declaration, and take another PCR test upon arrival. Travelers will have to quarantine in a hotel for up to 24 hours or until they get the results of their on-arrival test.
Vaccinated travelers will be able to scan or upload their immunization certificate to their incoming passenger form and receive a green pass, which is used to access public spaces like restaurants.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified Israel as a “Level 4” country, indicating a “very high level of COVID-19” transmission.