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Open up, Ye Gates? Israel announces full opening to foreigners from Nov. 1 – albeit with many caveats

News is promising, however many restrictions apply. Here are the guidelines in full.

Travelers at the Ben-Gurion International Airport, on July 19, 2021. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The wait is over for tourists itching to come to the Holy Land, which has been completely closed to individual tourists for 19 months.

Despite the discovery of a new strain of the Delta variant in Israel just this week, the Ministry of Tourism together with the Ministry of Health announced today new guidelines that will allow tourists to return to Israel beginning on Nov. 1.

Foreigners have been barred from entering Israel with the exception of a pilot program – open to fully vaccinated tour groups only – that began in May.

Before booking your tickets though, be sure to study the extensive guidelines and also be forewarned that the rules are subject to change upon the discovery of new variants.

Here are the guidelines in full.

The following persons are eligible to enter Israel in the framework of the plan:

Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least seven days prior to their day of entry into Israel (7 days must have passed since their second dose upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).

Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with two doses of the Moderna vaccine at least 14 days prior to their day of entry into Israel (14 days must have passed since their second dose upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).

Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days prior to their day of entry into Israel (14 days must have passed since their second dose upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).

Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with the Pfizer booster and at least seven days have passed, on the day of their entering Israel.

Foreign nationals who have been inoculated with the Moderna, Sinovac Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson booster and at least 14 days have passed, on the day of their entering Israel.

Foreign nationals who have recovered from COVID-19 and who present proof of the results of a positive NAAT test at least 11 days prior to their day of entry into Israel (11 days must have passed since their NAAT test upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon their leaving Israel).

Foreign nationals who have recovered from COVID-19 and have received at least one dose of the WHO-approved vaccines.

Groups that will be exempted from quarantine on the basis of their functioning like a capsule that stays together within their own group:

Tourists who have been inoculated with a WHO-approved vaccine.

The group functions in Israel like a ״capsule״, meaning they are only in contact with the people in their group - these groups will not have leisure time and their movement will be restricted in areas in which there is an increased risk of infection.

Up to 2,000 tourists in a capsule per day (a more stringent plan will apply to mixed groups).

Either a daily antigen tests or a PCR test every two days must be administered for 14 days from the day of entry into Israel.

Tourists who have not been in red countries or countries under severe travel warnings in the 14 days prior to entering Israel.

These groups are not required to undergo serological tests.

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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