Israel plans to cautiously open to tourism, starting May 23.
From that date, a limited number of vaccinated tourists, travelling in groups, will be allowed to enter. The Israel Health Ministry says this is because groups are easier to monitor than individuals. It is expected that individual, vaxxed travellers will be allowed in at a slightly later stage.
Travellers will have to undergo a PCR test and produce a negative certificate before boarding the flight to Israel. Upon arrival they will have to take both a PCR test and a serological test, which proves the existence of antibodies.
“It is time that Israel’s unique advantage as a safe and healthy country starts to assist it in recovering from the economic crisis,” said Tourism Minister, Orit Farkash-Hacohen, in a statement. “Only opening the skies for international tourism will truly revive the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotels, sites, tour guides, buses and others looking to work and provide for their families.”
The Immigration Ministry of Israel has already said it will allow foreign visitors who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 and who have a first-degree relative in Israel to enter, with their spouse and children.
The government says Israel will continue to negotiate with key countries to establish protocols for mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, to remove the need for the serological tests.
Israel experienced a fall of 81% in tourism in 2020, compared with its 2019 figures.