Israel’s new travel regulations, taking effect on March 1, require tourists to the country to arrive with a negative PCR test and undergo a second one on arrival and then self-isolate for 24 hours by which time the result of the PCR test should be ready.
Vaccination is no longer a requirement for entry.
Returning Israeli citizens will not require a pre-travel PCR test, but will need to take only one test on arrival in the country. And unvaccinated Israeli citizens will not have to quarantine after landing, as long as the second PCR test is negative.
Israel was one of the first countries to mandate a vaccination certificate, the ‘Green Pass’.
News is that this Green Pass will no longer be necessary to enter a range of facilities, including bars, restaurants, hotels, gyms and places of worship, among other sites in the country.
PM Naftali Bennett told the country last Thursday that the decline in the numbers of infections and hospitalisations was proof that it was time to scrap the Green Pass.
The loosening up of restrictions in Israel was a welcome reversal, considering Bennett had ordered a total shutdown of all travel when Omicron first reared its head. “We were the first to act and close the skies with the onset of the wave. Now we are gradually releasing the limitations,” said the PM.
Last month, during the height of the Omicron wave, Israel saw more than 80 000 new COVID cases per day.
The Israeli Health Ministry has also hinted broadly that the need to wear face masks in indoor public spaces is likely to be lifted before the Passover festival in April.