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Israel Is Reopening To Tourists, Regardless of Vaccination Status

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett today announced that Israel will soon begin welcoming foreign tourists of all ages, regardless of their vaccination status, according to The Jerusalem Post.

International travelers will still be required to produce a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure for Israel, plus a second PCR test upon arrival. The policy change will reportedly take effect on March 1.


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The rules change will also end the current isolation protocols that apply to unvaccinated Israeli citizens re-entering the country, provided they produce a negative PCR test upon arrival. The amended rules will also allow Israelis to forego antigen or PCR testing prior to boarding their flight, requiring only a PCR test upon arrival in Israel.

The decision was made public after the close of a meeting between Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov and others, during which officials conferred upon a framework for easing COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are seeing a constant decline in the morbidity data, so it is time to gradually open up that which we were the first in the world to close,” Bennett said during Sunday’s meeting. “In order to maintain the public’s trust and ensure that the citizens of Israel follow the guidelines and the decisions that the government makes, it is necessary to open up when the situation improves, and it has improved significantly.”

He continued, “The situation in Israel is good at the moment. It is a result of proper and dynamic management, which is also why we are opening up now. At the same time, we will keep our fingers on the pulse and, in case of a new variant, we will again respond quickly.”

“Opening Israel’s skies is a very welcome step and will help reunite families from around the world with their loved ones in Israel,” Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai remarked on the decision. “Last week, I recommended to Prime Minister Bennett that Israel allow unvaccinated children into the country to enable families to reunite, particularly ahead of the Passover holiday, which is such a crucial time for families to be together, as well as for the upcoming Purim festivities.”

Dov Lipman, former M.K. and current CEO of the non-profit organization Yad L’Olim, applauded the government for electing to fully reopen the country to international tourists for the first time since the pandemic struck and borders were sealed in March 2020.

“We have been bombarded by tens of thousands of people who want to enter Israel but didn’t qualify according to the rules,” he said. “After two very difficult years, they just want to enter the Holy Land. I have been sharing these messages with our leaders and pushing for change. I can literally hear the collective sigh of relief from all around the world that is coming from today’s announcement.”


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