Israel reopens to tour groups

SINGAPORE, 7 May 2021: Israel will reopen its borders to tour groups on 23 May, starting with visitors from 14 countries, the Times of Israel reported earlier this week.

It opens travel from the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, but all travellers must be vaccinated or able to prove the existence of antibodies that confirm they have recovered from Covid-19.

First reported on Channel 12 on Wednesday, the tourism minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen told the network: “I have spoken a lot about the need to bring vaccinated tourists to Israel and take advantage of the fact that Israel is a safe country in order to contribute to Israel’s economy.”

To curb the spread of Covid-19, Israel requires tourists to take a PCR swab test before boarding a flight to the country. Upon arrival in Israel, they will have to take both a PCR test and a serological test to prove the existence of antibodies.

Israel will open its borders to only tourists who had FDA- or EU-approved vaccinations, which bars tourists from countries like Russia.

The easing of entry rules applies only to tour groups served by vaccinated guides and drivers. If the trial run is successful, it will open borders to independent tourists, possibly by July.

But there are opposing voices led by the Health Ministry that recommended delaying the launch of the tourism program, citing the spread of an “insidious COVID variant ravaging India.”

(Source: Times of Israel)