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Israel to reopen to international tour groups on 19 September

The tourist pilot programme was previously suspended due to rising cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant 

Israel’s Ministry of Tourism will restart its tourist pilot programme from 19 September 2021, allowing organised tourist groups of five t0 30 tourists from green, yellow and orange countries to visit Israel. 

International tourists must have proof of having both doses of an Israel Ministry of Health-recognised vaccination within the last six months; if their second dose was administered more than six months ago, they must have received a third booster vaccination in order to qualify for entry. Visitors will also have to present a negative PCR test, taken up to 72 hours before arrival, and will undergo a PCR and serological (antibody) test on arrival at Ben Gurion airport.

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The pilot programme, which was initiated in May 2021 to provide a safe, controlled entry of foreign tourists to Israel, was considered a success. More than 2,000 tourists visited Israel, mainly from the USA and Europe, and no cases were identified among the groups. It’s hoped that independent travellers will be allowed into Israel in the near future, but, for now, joining a group trip is the only option.

Israel Tourist Office UK director Sharon Bershadsky said: “After a break in the initial rollout of the programme due to the acceleration of the Delta variant in Israel, we are delighted to take the first step in opening our borders to international visitors once more. From the beautiful coast of Tel Aviv, the rich history of Jerusalem, the wonder of The Dead Sea, the ample outdoor travel opportunities and the superb culinary scene, there are numerous reasons for travellers to visit our country. We look forward to also welcoming individual travellers to Israel as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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