Israel Reopens Its Borders to Some Non-residents After a Year of COVID Restrictions. Here's Who Can Enter

Foreigners have to be fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 to come into Israel, and they must obtain approval in advance from the authorities

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Two Israelis arriving at Ben Gurion Airport last month.
Two Israelis arriving at Ben Gurion Airport last month.Credit: Hadas Parush

Israel will begin allowing select groups of non-residents into the country, starting Wednesday. Overseas visitors will be required to obtain approval in advance to fly to Israel from either the Interior Ministry or their local Israeli consulate.

All non-citizens or non-residents, even if they have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival (or 10 days if they agree to undergo two additional PCR tests after landing).

They will also need to test negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of boarding their flight, and once again upon landing. Furthermore, they will not be allowed to fly to Israel without health insurance that covers medical treatment for the coronavirus.

Since Israel entered its first lockdown in March 2020, non-residents – with rare exceptions – have not been allowed into the country. In late January, as part of the third lockdown, even Israeli citizens were prevented from entering. However, that particular restriction was lifted a few weeks ago.

According to regulations published by the Interior Ministry on Tuesday, all non-citizens who are able to prove they have first-degree relatives in Israel will be allowed to travel to the country and can bring their spouses and children along, provided they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. Babies under a year old will be exempt from this requirement.

A man looking at the Arrivals board at Ben Gurion Airport last month.Credit: Ilan Assayag

However, in order to obtain flight approval from either the Population Registry at the Interior Ministry or their local consulate, they will be required to submit notarized documents providing proof of their relations in Israel.

The following groups of non-citizens will also be allowed to travel to Israel even if they have not been vaccinated or have not recovered from the virus, unless otherwise stated:

* Spouses and children of Israeli citizens, as well as parents of Israeli children who are minors.

* Foreign exchange students who had already begun their study programs in Israel, yeshiva students and participants in Masa – an organization that runs hundreds of educational, volunteer and internship programs in Israel for young Jewish adults.

* Foreign experts, businesspeople and caretakers.

* Artists, performers and athletes.

* Volunteers in social services and agriculture.

* Parents of a bride or groom planning to wed in Israel (other first-degree relatives will either have to be vaccinated or have recovered from the coronavirus).

* First-degree relatives of someone holding a bar- or bat-mitzvah celebration in Israel (provided they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the coronavirus).

* First-degree relatives of a couple expecting a child (provided they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the coronavirus).

* First-degree relatives of a person being buried in Israel.

* First-degree relatives, as well as partners, of “lone soldiers” – young men and women serving in the army whose families live abroad.

* Clergy, diplomats and foreign correspondents.

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