Israel and West Bank Travel Advisories Issued
The US Department of State issued a Level 3 Advisory on March 13, 2020, regarding traveling to Israel and the West Bank due to travel restrictions and quarantine procedures instituted by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority in response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ongoing outbreak.
The Government of Israel announced that effective March 12, 2020, foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, arriving from any country will be required to remain in home quarantine until 14 days have passed since the date of entry into Israel.
Foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, who wish to travel to Israel should request approval by contacting the Consular Department of the closest Israeli embassy or consulate 5 working days prior to the planned date of arrival with travel dates, flight information, and quarantine address.
According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, in exceptional cases, one may apply to enter upon arrival subject to proof of the ability to remain in home isolation for 14 days.
Travelers are not permitted to self-quarantine in a hotel or dormitory.
The quarantine requirement also applies to Israeli citizens and residents, including dual U.S.-Israeli citizens. The Government of Israel is continually updating its travel restrictions and quarantine policies.
In addition, the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority will deny entry to any person who is not an Israeli resident or citizen who has traveled in the last 14 days to:
- China, Italy, South Korea (including connecting flights in these locations)
- Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon (excluding connecting flights if you did not leave the airport)
- France, Spain, San Marino, Andorra, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (unless you can prove that you are able to remain in home quarantine in Israel for 14 days from the date of departure from these destinations)
- An international conference in any country
Previously, on March 6, 2020, the Palestinian Authority has restricted all foreigners from entering areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control until further notice.
Movement and travel between Palestinian districts, including Bethlehem, are restricted to emergencies only. Border crossings may be closed with little or no advance notice.
There are reports that the following border crossings and crossing points are closed to non-Israeli or non-Palestinian citizens and residents unless they have proof of onward departure travel from Ben Gurion (Tel Aviv) or Amman airports within six hours:
- The Menachem Begin/Taba Border Crossing between Eilat and Taba, Egypt
- The Allenby/King Hussein Bridge between the West Bank and Jordan
- The Erez Crossing Point between Gaza and Israel
Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions related to COVID-19 to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.
Flights into or out of Israel may be canceled with little or no advance notice.
Hotels might refuse to honor reservations for individuals suspected of COVID-19 exposure. Several airlines have canceled flights into and out of Israel.
Transportation options, including train service, from the airport to any location may be limited.
If you decide to travel to Israel and/or the West Bank:
- Have a plan to depart Israel and the West Bank which does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Carry additional supplies of necessary medication in carry-on luggage due to quarantine restrictions.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Additionally, Gaza is a State Department Level 4 Advisory - Do not travel due to civil unrest.
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