Foreign tourists who have been vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V COVID vaccine will be able to enter Israel as of December 1, the Tourism Ministry announced Monday.
Earlier it had been decided that visitors to Israel inoculated with the Russian vaccine would be permitted to enter the country as of this week – November 15, but the date was deferred until December 1 to allow Israel time to adapt its computer systems to accommodate the Russian data.
Although the Sputnik vaccine is not recognized by the World Health Organization or the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, those inoculated with the vaccine will be allowed to enter Israel subject to antibody testing and a PCR test to detect possible infection with the coronavirus, on their arrival in Israel.
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They will also be required to quarantine until a positive antibody and a negative COVID test result is received.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the decision last month to recognize the Sputnik vaccine five days after he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Israeli sources have told Haaretz that the decision followed Russian pressure.
Despite its lack of approval by the World Health Organization, Sputnik has been approved for use in more than 70 countries and is now being evaluated for its effectiveness by the WHO and the European Medicines Agency.