Israel will officially open its borders to all tourists, vaccinated and unvaccinated, of all ages starting next month.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, and Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov this week. The group cited the improving health situation, in particular the decline in morbidity data, in making the decision.
Israel will still require PCR tests, one upon entry, and another after landing in Israel, and guests will still be required to quarantine until they either receive the results of the negative PCR test or 24 hours passes.
The move comes just about two months after Israel reopened to fully vaccinated or recovered travelers.
“We are thrilled that the government is taking the necessary steps to fully reopen Israel to all travelers around the world,” Tourism Commissioner for North American Eyal Carlin said.
“The ease in restrictions allows for more travelers to enter our country while also ensuring the health and wellbeing of all. Despite the country’s closure over the past two years, we are back and better than ever and travelers can expect refurbished historical sites with increased accessibility, new hotels, new museums, and more,” he added.
Israel had been one of the strictest foreign countries for tourists to travel to since the beginning of the pandemic. After largely being shut for more than a year, in October 2021, the country said it was launching a pilot program that would allow some visitors in, but only if they were boostered. The country then started curtailing international travel when the Omicron variant started affecting the world in December.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has Israel on its list of Level 4 countries and continues to recommend travelers “avoid travel to Israel” because of COVID-19 cases in the country. According to Worldometers, Israel reported 13,951 new cases on Feb. 21, down from the more than 80,000 that it reported on Jan. 23.