Entry of Tourists into Israel Under the Governmental Coronavirus-Related Restrictions (As of March 2022)
After two years during which tourists were banned from coming to Israel, new guidelines have now entered into force that re-allow this. Although some of the coronavirus-related guidelines and restrictions are still in effect, new criteria allow tourists who meet them to enter the country for visiting, tourism, and vacation purposes. What are these criteria and what is required of tourists who wish to enter Israel from now on? A lawyer from our firm who specializes in immigration to Israel explains all about this below.
Our law office, which has branches in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, specializes in immigration law and, specifically, in immigration to Israel. Our lawyers have extensive proven experience in handling requests for entry visas and other visas for staying in Israel (for purposes such as tourism, work, academic studies, and joining an Israeli spouse). Our firm represents its clients in these matters before the Israeli authorities and courts.
Entry of Tourists into Israel in 2022: The Skies Reopen
In March 2020, the State of Israel closed its gates to tourists from all over the world, following the spread of the coronavirus epidemic (which just then was designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization [WHO]). Entry of foreign nationals into Israel became limited, and was allowed only under strict restrictions. At one point, entry was almost completely banned (which required appealing to the High Court of Justice on the matter, with our office taking part in said appeal). Many foreign nationals who planned to visit Israel for tourism purposes or to visit friends or family, were forced to cancel their plans.
The sweeping ban on the entry of tourists into Israel raised much criticism in Israel and around the world, particularly as most countries had begun extensive vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus, and over 4 billion people around the world had already been vaccinated. After many discussions on the subject among officials of the Ministry of Health and the Population and Immigration Authority, it was decided to soften the restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals into Israel and allow tourists to enter. However, anyone who wishes to enter Israel must still meet the conditions presented below.
What Are the Conditions for the Entry of Foreign Nationals into Israel?
According to the updated governmental guidelines, foreign nationals of all ages can now enter Israel for touristic purposes, without any requirement to present a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery from coronavirus. The guidelines do require, however, to undergo two PCR tests – first 72 hours (or less) before entering Israel and again upon arrival in Israel. In cases where there is any problem with taking a PCR test before arrival, it is possible to submit an online form and request the Israeli authorities an exemption from this requirement. In addition, foreign nationals must fill out an entry declaration form within 48 hours before arriving in Israel.
Upon arrival, foreign nationals are required to stay in self-isolation, for 24 hours or until obtaining a negative PCR test result (the earlier between the two). Should the PCR test result be positive, the foreign nationals would be required to stay in self-isolation for 14 days in a designated coronavirus hotel, to which they must arrive by ambulance. Foreign nationals would be required to bear the costs of both the hotel and ambulance ride. The self-isolation can be shortened, based on obtaining a negative PCR test result after the fifth day of self-isolation.
Requirements Must be Adhered
The new guidelines presented above are binding and being strictly enforced by the Israeli Authorities. Violating any of the conditions could lead to some very undesired sanctions, including being banned from entering the country for up to 5 years. It is therefore important for foreign citizens to make sure that they meet all the requirements before entering Israel, and during their stay. In addition, the entry and stay in Israel is still subject to the Immigration Authority procedures, which might lead to the refusal of foreign nationals from entering, for various reasons. In any issue arises in this regard, you can and should consult an immigration lawyer.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer
This article detailed the cases in which foreign tourists may enter Israel. For any further questions and matters regarding entering and staying in Israel, you can contact us and a lawyer from our firm will be happy to be at your service. Our law firm has extensive experience in handling requests of foreign citizens to enter Israel and in finding creative solutions for them.