Entry of Tourists into Israel During the Spread of Coronavirus
Entry of tourists into Israel during the spread of the Coronavirus will only be allowed with special permission received in advance, and only for those who are able to prove that their life center is in Israel. We highly recommend staying up to date on this topic through the Population and Immigration Authority’s website, as well as keeping track of the Ministry of Health’s instructions on their website.
On Thursday March 12, 2020 at 8:00 pm, Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri announced the implementation of the “closed skies” policy, enacted around Israel’s borders until further notice. This decision was not made lightly; but some visitors were still granted permission to enter Israel if they were able to prove their ability to remain in quarantine. Subsequently, the Ministry of Interior tightened restrictions and required prior approval from the Israeli Consulate abroad, as well as proof that the foreign national’s center of life is in Israel.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Interior changes its policies from day to day; thus the entry of tourists into Israel during the spread of Coronavirus should only be done after consulting with an Israeli immigration lawyer who specializes in settling legal status and entrance into Israel.
Our law office specializes in immigration and has branches located in central Israel; Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In this article, Attorney Michael Decker explains how tourists from foreign countries can receive permission to stay in Israel under the current legal situation due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
How Can Tourists Enter Israel?
The wave of restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak that is affecting many countries around the world is also affecting Israel. On March 12, 2020, it was decided that the entry of any foreigners into Israel would be rejected. That is, except for those who can prove that their center of life is in Israel, and who also obtained approval from the Israeli Consulate prior to their arrival in Israel; provided that they are able to enter into quarantine upon entering Israel.
In summary, entry into Israeli territories will be granted to any Israeli citizen or permanent resident, under the condition that they self-quarantine within their homes immediately upon entering Israel. On the other hand, every tourist or foreign visitor who comes to Israel will be denied entry. However, in exceptional cases in which the center of the visitor’s life, as of late, has been in Israel, a request can be submitted to the Ministry of Interior proving ability to remain in house quarantine for 14 days. But here is where we reach the heart of the matter. Our office can provide this service and assist tourists from abroad who need to visit Israel – for whatever reason – do demonstrate in advance that they have the abode and capacity to enter quarantine upon arrival in Israel.
If the tourists / visitors do not have a permanent address, they will be denied entry and will be forced to return home.
Some Statistical Data on Current Events — Effect of Coronavirus on Foreigners Entering and Departing Israel
According to statistics published by the Population and Immigration Authority, nearly 200,000 foreign nationals left Israel these past few weeks, 74,000 in one week alone.
In addition, from March 6, 2020, ver 500 foreign nationals were denied entry into Israel at various entry points, namely — all airports in Israel: Ben Gurion, Allenby, Taba, Rabin, etc.
On top of that, a significant number of tourists left Israel as of these last few weeks. They were mainly from the United States (17,050), Germany (4,901), Poland (3,333), and France (3,944). There were also a smaller number of people from Romania (1,834), Italy (255), Switzerland (584), Austria (578), and so on.
It should be noted that ever since the decision came into effect a few weeks ago, tens of thousands of tourists have been prevented from entering. This is in order to prevent their arrival to Israel and refusal of entry at the border crossing.
If you are a tourist or know tourists abroad who need to visit Israel for any reason, our office can assist you in navigating how to enter into quarantine and how to prove it in advance. To contact us, use any of the phone numbers or the email address listed below, and we will be happy to help.