Israel to reopen borders for tourists from Sept 19 for selected countries

WION Web Team
Jerusalem Published: Sep 05, 2021, 10:45 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Israel Photograph:( AFP )

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Israel government’s tourism department said groups of between five and 30 people from countries on it’s green, yellow and orange lists would be allowed to enter provided they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Israel on Sunday said it would reopen it’s borders for foreign tourists from selective countries from September 19, in a bid to kickstart the tourism industry that has been massively hit since the COVID-19 began.

Israel government’s tourism department said groups of between five and 30 people from countries on it’s green, yellow and orange lists would be allowed to enter provided they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Under the new plan, there will be no restrictions on the number of tour groups that Israel will let in, the ministry said, but the groups from countries on Israel’s red list—which comprises Bulgaria, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey—will not be eligible, news agency Reuters reports.

Individual tourists, who have not been allowed to visit Israel since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic there in March 2020 unless they are visiting family members, will still not be allowed to enter outside of a tour group, it said.

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The government said foreign tourists would be asked to show proof to show that they are vaccinated within the last six months or a booster shot in order to qualify for entry.

Apart from that, the tourists will also have to provide a negative PCR test, taken up to 72 hours before arrival at Tel Aviv airport.

In May, Israel had allowed small tour groups as cases started to ebb. More than 2,000 visitors arrived, mainly from the United States and Europe. But the government put the plan on hiatus in August as the Delta variant started fuelling a surge in cases despite a brisk vaccination rollout.

Israel reported nearly 5,000 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday. According to local media reports, 5.5 million out of 9.3 million population have received a second shot and another 2.5 million have received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

(With inputs from agencies)

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