Visiting Israel Remains Complicated

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Israel (Vax Before Travel)

The Israeli Health Ministry will likely recommend extending airport restrictions beyond March 20, 2021, Director-General Chezy Levi told the Jerusalem Post.

Levi stated, “On the one hand, everyone would like the skies to be open, to be able to travel, and so on. On the other hand, the (coronavirus) mutations are at large globally, and some of them greatly challenge the vaccine. We, therefore, want to limit people leaving and entering Israel.’

On March 11, 2021, the Government of Israel published an extensive update to its travel procedures. 

All passengers arriving in Israel that their itinerary was 72 hours or longer must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to airline staff. The test must be taken within 72 hours before the scheduled departure to Israel. This requirement applies to people with a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery.

Entry to Israel depends on complying with this requirement.

Passengers arriving in Israel who cannot take a PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure to Israel because of humanitarian grounds or special personal needs, or if it is physically impossible to gain access to PCR testing in the location they are flying from may apply to the Exceptions Committee.

Passengers who fly to Israel and passengers who are required to go into isolation must submit an inbound passenger statement. In the statement form, passengers must fill out their personal information, the address of the accommodation where they will isolate, and a health declaration. The statement form should be filled out within 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure to Israel, preferably as close as possible to departure time.

Foreign nationals must apply for an entry clearance certified by an Israeli consulate or the Population and Immigration Authority. The entry of foreign nationals will be granted only if they fall under an exception. 

Passengers must present the PCR test results to airline staff, officials of the Immigration and Population Authority, and officials of the Ministry of Health at the airport. Note that boarding will be denied of COVID-19 confirmed cases.

Furthermore, arriving passengers must wear a facemask covering the nose and mouth at the airport (ages seven years and older) and when on board the aircraft (ages six years and older).

And passengers who arrive in Israel on a connecting flight must take a PCR test within 72 hours before the due time of the first flight if they stay abroad more extended than 72 hours and if the time interval between the first flight and the flight that arrives in Israel is less than 24 hours.

Moreover, foreign nationals who display COVID-19 related symptoms must contact the Emergency Medical Services Hotline at 101 or the Ministry of Health Hotline at *5400 for advice.

The US Department of State suggests enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals who are traveling and living abroad to register their trip to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Enrollees will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.

When visiting Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, ‘if you must travel, follow all entry requirements for your destination and provide any required or requested health information. If you do not follow your destination's requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the USA.’

The CDC says ‘before traveling back to the USA by air, get tested with a viral test no more than three days before your flight departs. The test result must be negative.’

After returning, get tested 3–5 days after travel and stay home to self-quarantine for seven days after the trip. If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home to self-quarantine for ten days.

Before traveling outside the USA, you should speak with a healthcare provider who is familiar with your destination. And before traveling abroad, you should be up to date on your routine and travel vaccines as well, says the CDC.

Vax-Before-Travel publishes research-based travel news.