Israel to Recognize Antigen COVID Tests for International Arrivals, Instead of PCR

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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Passengers arriving at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport last week.
Passengers arriving at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport last week.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

Israel will no longer require a negative PCR test for international arrivals, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced Tuesday. Individuals entering the country can instead present an antigen test for COVID, which is cheaper.

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The policy change, which is pending cabinet approval, provides travelers a more accessible way of getting checked, but requires they do so in the 24 hours prior to boarding a flight to Israel, compared to 72 hours for PCR tests.

The new regulations would require the antigen test to be taken through a recognized medical institution abroad. Home tests will not be accepted.

In line with existing regulations, Israeli who have been abroad for less than 72 hours will not be required to get tested before returning to the country.

A PCR test will still be mandatory upon arrival in Israel.

On November 1, Israel opened its borders to any tourist who is fully vaccinated according to the Israeli standard, meaning they have received three doses of the coronavirus vaccine or two doses within the past six months. However, Haaretz reported last week that in practice the enforcement of these restrictions is lax.

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