Israel was planning on reopening to vaccinated tourists on July 1st. However, thanks to a growing rise in cases of the Delta variant, travelers will have to wait longer.
The world regards Israel as one of the world’s greatest vaccination success stories. The nation took the lead in the global vaccination drive in the early days. However, the nation saw over 125 cases of the Delta variant on Tuesday, promoting a delayed easing of travel restrictions.
The current Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, said in a Wednesday statement from his office, “Our goal at the moment, first and foremost, is to safeguard the citizens of Israel from the Delta variant that is running amok in the world. We have decided to take action as soon as possible, even now, in order not to pay a heavier price later, by taking quick and responsible actions.”
The Current Entry Requirements
Everyone who visits Israel will require a PCR test no more than 72 hours before their scheduled departure. Travelers will also need to have the negative test result written in English. The passport number also needs to be on the test document when they arrive in Israel. In addition, if you transit to Israel, you’ll need a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure.
All foreign nations will need an entry permit issued before the immigration authority before boarding. You’ll need to present evidence of your PCR test before departure and proof of your entry permit before the airline allows you to board.
Furthermore, all passengers who are unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, recovered, or have traveled to South Africa, Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey, and Ethiopia in the last 14 days will have to enter isolation. However, all travelers who were fully vaccinated and recovered from COVID-19 outside of Israel must enter self-isolation. But they can apply for an exemption if they take a serological test and it comes back positive in an accredited Israeli laboratory.
These restrictions would end on July 1st, but the country is looking to pause this reopening. The Israeli government was planning on allowing vaccinated visitors to enter without quarantine.
The plan was to allow countries with high vaccination rates to enter a green list. Therefore, travelers from low-risk countries would avoid the need for a serological test to prove they have COVID-10 antibodies in their system.
Israel was one of the first countries to allow a post-covid-19 tour group into the country. The entire group will be fully vaccinated but will need a PCR test upon arrival under current restrictions.
The COVID-19 Situation In Israel
Israel has brought cases of COVID-19 down to single digits in the previous three months. That makes it one of the world’s most covid-free places. Since the pandemic began, the country has had over 840,307 cases and 6,429 deaths.
However, the vaccination rollout was one of the world’s first to begin. The country has vaccinated 10,583,275 doses. However, the nation has had various waves of the virus, including over 8,000 cases per day during January.
Today, 85% of the adult population has received a vaccine, meaning the country is on the green list of many nations. For example, if you’re from the U.K, you can travel to Israel without quarantine when you arrive back in the U.K.
The news that Israel is delaying its reopening suggests the Delta variant is going to cause some issues for the travel industry in the next 6 months. Countries are assessing the variant and if it evades vaccines and increases hospitalization rates significantly.
European nations have placed British travelers on a mandatory quarantine because of the rise in the Delta variant, and the uncertainty for the travel industry is likely to continue as this virus mutates.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com