Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: Israel to allow tour groups soon

Filed on September 5, 2021
Tourists walk at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, in May. — Reuters file

Tourism ministry says it will begin allowing organised tour groups into the country beginning September 19

Israel said it will soon reopen its gates to foreign tour groups — even as it battles one of the world’s highest rates of coronavirus infections.

Listen to this story and more on the 8@8 with David Light podcast

The country’s Tourism Ministry on Sunday said it will begin allowing organised tour groups into the country beginning September 19.

Tourists will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, present a negative PCR test before their flight and undergo both PCR and serological testing upon arrival. Visitors would have to quarantine in their hotels until the test results come back — a process expected to take no more than 24 hours.

Tourists from a handful of “red” countries with high infection rates — including Turkey and Brazil — will not be permitted to visit for the time being.

Israel launched a similar programme in May after vaccinating most of its population early this year. But the programme was suspended in August as the delta variant began to spread.

In recent weeks, the country has begun administering booster shots to anyone who was vaccinated over five months ago. The campaign has shown signs of controlling the delta outbreak, allowing the government to begin allowing tourists to return.

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