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Israel to drop mandatory PCR tests at airport for all travelers into the country

Now only one test to enter Israel will be required for foreigners; New rule will go into effect on May 20

A medical technician tests a passenger for COVID-19 at Ben-Gurion International Airport, June 30, 2021. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

In a further relaxing of its entry requirements, Israel will drop its mandatory COVID testing at Ben-Gurion International Airport which it currently requires of all travelers into the country – citizens and non-citizens alike.

The government will also allow foreigners to enter the country with a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of travel, as opposed to the more expensive PCR test within 72 hours.

The new rule will go into effect on May 20.

Currently, foreigners have been required to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of travel and then take another test at the airport upon arrival.

For most of last year and the beginning of this year, when Israel was actually open to foreigners, entry was contingent upon vaccination against COVID-19.

The Health Ministry said the new rules are a result of decreasing COVID cases.

Despite dropping the requirement, however, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Israel would “be able to reactivate it as quickly as necessary.”

Israel recently dropped its requirement for residents to show a negative PCR test to get back into the country, but had required a test for anyone entering the country – including citizens – to be taken at the airport.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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