Israel is joining a growing number of countries to open its borders to vaccinated travellers.
From 23 May, Israel will open its borders to tour groups from 14 destinations, including the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Inbound tourists are expected to do a PCR coronavirus test prior to boarding a plane for Israel, and upon arrival in the country they will have to take both a PCR test and a serological test to prove the existence of antibodies.
However, Israeli authorities have announced that only tourists with FDA- or EU-approved vaccinations will be allowed into the country.
In the initial reopening stage, only tourist groups will be permitted to enter the country and they will be accompanied by vaccinated guides and drivers. Israel has plans to expand entry for tourists in the coming months, and potentially welcome individual tourists in July.
Tourism Minister Farkash-Hacohen had earlier unveiled a four-part tourism plan, which included a global advertising campaign, flight incentives to Eilat, and the reintroduction of large international events.
“We want to breathe oxygen back into the tourism economy of Israel, and Israel has the advantage as a healthy, vaccinated country,” The Times of Israel reported Farkash-Hacohen as saying at a recent press conference in Tel Aviv.
Israel is a world leader in vaccination rates, with over five million of its nine million citizens fully vaccinated. Its coronavirus caseload has plummeted due to its successful vaccination campaign.