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Israel to reopen for vaccinated travellers

Israel will be reopening its borders to international travellers on May 23rd after more than a year. However, visitors will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will be expected to travel in groups. The news follows a deal between minister of tourism, Orit Farkash-Hacohen, and minister of health, Yuli Edelstein, on a framework for the reopening.

In the first stage, groups will be allowed in under guidelines to be published by the ministries. Following an initial reopening, numbers will be increased based on the health situation.

Individual travellers will be allowed into Israel in the second stage, with health considerations determining the timeline.

Edelstein said, “Israel is the first vaccinated country, and the citizens of Israel are the first to enjoy this result. After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the Covid-19 year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation.”

All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding a flight to Israel, as well as a serological test to prove their vaccination upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.

In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test.

Farkash-Hacohen added, “I am pleased to give this important first step to the tourism industry. Opening the skies for international tourism will truly revive the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotels, sites, tour guides, busses and others looking to work and provide for their families. I will continue to work for the full opening of tourism to Israel, which will greatly assist the Israeli economy and create workplaces for many Israelis.”

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