Travel to Israel is set to recommence after news the Israeli Health Ministry will allow groups of vaccinated foreigners into the country, starting on May 23.
Tourists who want to visit Israel will have to undergo a PCR COVID-19 test before their flight, and another PCR and a serological test when they leave Ben Gurion Airport to check they have either been vaccinated or have had the coronavirus.
Limits will be placed on the number of tourists able to enter the country each day, and they will need to travel in organized groups.
“Israel is the first vaccinated state, and the citizens of Israel are the first to enjoy it,” said Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. “After we have opened up the economy, it is time to carefully and thoughtfully facilitate tourism.
“The opening of tourism is an important line for one of the industries that was particularly damaged in the year of coronavirus. We will continue to examine the relief at all times, in accordance with the morbidity data.”
The decision comes as the rates of coronavirus infection in Israel continue to plummet, the result of one of the fastest and most efficient vaccination programs in the world. In the last two weeks, 95 percent of the country has been green.
Shops and restaurants have already reopened for business. From next week, schools will fully reopen, and on April 20, Israelis will no longer be required to wear a mask outdoors.
(Edited by Fern Siegel and David Martosko)
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