As Israel reopens for select international travelers, there are still restrictions and, in some cases, suspensions in place.
Entry into Israel by foreign nationals from the following countries is banned, unless special permission is provided in extraordinary cases by the exceptions committee: Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa.
What to Expect When Traveling
- Any foreign national seeking entry to Israel will have to provide a copy of medical health insurance, valid in Israel, that specifically includes coverage for COVID–19.
- Before the flight to Israel: Any person arriving will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 72 hours prior to departure.
- Upon Entry to Israel: All incoming passengers must comply with COVID-19 testing requirements including those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus.
Any person arriving from Argentina, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, or Ukraine (foreign nationals with an extraordinary entry permit to Israel) must enter compulsory isolation upon entry to Israel, even if they have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.
Vaccinated and recovering people who have been in one of the above countries for less than 12 hours as part of a flight connection without leaving the airport will not be required to enter isolation.
- Those who already got vaccinated in Israel: A COVID –19 test is required upon entering Israel, however, if the test is negative, isolation will not be required.
- Those who were not vaccinated (including children living in Israel that cannot be vaccinated yet): Isolation requirements are expected to remain in place for travelers who have not been vaccinated. A COVID –19 test upon entering Israel is required, as well as home isolation. Plans are being put in place to require a deposit be made on a “tracking kit” (such as an electronic bracelet or SMS digital phone tracking software), to ensure that people isolate themselves at home. If no consent is given to the tracking kit, the person will be required to be isolated in a state-run isolation facility.
- Those who Vaccinated abroad: A COVID–19 test upon entering Israel is required, as well as home isolation. Upon receipt of a “Negative” COVID–19 check at the airport, the individual can perform a serological test. The serological test can be made at the isolation place or the private authorized clinic. Upon receiving confirmation of immunity, the individual can apply for a waiver from isolation from the Ministry of Health.
The isolation is required for 14 days from arrival. The isolation period may be reduced to 10 days by showing negative results on two COVID-19 tests. The first test should be taken as soon as possible after arrival, and the second test on the 9th day.
Israeli nationals are not permitted to travel to Hot Spot countries unless approved by the Exemption Committee, based on meeting the following criteria:
- Departing for a humanitarian or essential need,
- Athletes (with the approval of the Director-General of the Ministry of Culture and Sports).
- Official emissaries of national institutions (with the approval of the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption). Israeli citizens and residents returning to their permanent place of residence in these countries are required to declare this before the Exceptions Committee and attach supporting documents.
An Entry Permit is required for any foreign national seeking travel to Israel:
- New Foreign experts’ entry for work: Following the recommendation of the relevant Ministry (Transportation, Energy, Health, Economy, etc.) and the issuance of the work permit, there is still a need to obtain an entry permit for the foreign expert from the Ministry of Interior (local office or work permit unit: depending on the type of visa).
- Re-entry to Israel: Regardless of the need to have a multiple entry visa, all foreign experts need to obtain an entry permit before each entry to Israel, even if they hold a multiple entry visa.
- Business trips to Israel: Entry for business is limited to COVID-19 vaccinated travelers only. The application is to be submitted in Israel to the Ministry of Economics electronically. Upon approval that the travel is of extreme necessity, a subsequent application must be submitted to the Ministry of Interior.
- First-degree relatives in Israel: 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
- Inbound Group Tourism: From May 23, a limited number of vaccinated tourists are allowed to enter Israel in organized groups.
- Individual Tourists: Currently not permitted. It is expected to be allowed at a later stage.
From June 12, Israel officials have indicated that a new pilot regulation will be published to allow easier entry procedures for foreign visitors who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus from the beginning of July 2021. This program will allow business people and regular/individual tourists to enter Israel for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport reopened on March 7, 2021 for limited international travel. According to data from The New York Times, 57% of Israelis are fully vaccinated. Still, as there are new virus variants, Israel is maintaining restrictions for foreign nationals to enter.