Israel to Allow Entry to Vaccinated Tourists Starting November 1

The new COVID guidelines still need to be approved by the Israeli cabinet

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Travelers arrive in Ben-Gurion Airport, in Lod, Israel, last month.
Travelers arrive in Ben-Gurion Airport, in Lod, Israel, last month.Credit: Hadas Parush

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz have approved a new policy under which vaccinated tourists will be allowed into Israel starting on November 1.

The plan, which was released Thursday, stills needs the cabinet's approval. Tourists considered fully vaccinated:

  • Have received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least seven days earlier, and will leave the country within 180 days.
  • Have received the second dose of the Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine at least 14 days earlier, and will leave the country within 180 days.
  • Have received one dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine at least 14 days earlier, and will leave the country within 180 days.
  • Have received a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot at least seven days earlier.
  • Have received a third dose of the Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinovac or Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine at least 14 days earlier.
  • Have recovered and presented proof of a positive test such as a PCR test at least 11 days earlier, and will leave the country within 180 days.
  • Have recovered and have received at least one dose of a vaccine that has been approved by the World Health Organization.

Bennett says he may postpone granting entry to those vaccinated with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to December 1. Bennett, who is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, said this week that travelers vaccinated with Sputnik V would be allowed into Israel for the next two months.

Health officials recommended delaying recognition of the Russian vaccine upon the discovery of a new COVID-19 strain. On Thursday, Israel discovered five more cases of the AY4.2 strain of the delta variant, the Health Ministry said. 

This comes after Bennett met with health officials Wednesday night to discuss the previous day's discovery of the first case of the AY4.2 strain in the country.

Also Thursday, the Health Ministry said there were 331 serious coronavirus cases in Israel, a 57 percent drop from the peak in the last quarter.

At the end of August, there were 766 seriously ill COVID patients, a number that has steadily declined since the end of September during Israel's accelerated booster-shot drive. Nearly 3.9 million people have received the third dose. 

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