Israel plans to reopen its doors to vaccinated tourists in July


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Israel is planning a pilot project to allow foreign tourists to enter the country from July 1, if they have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Yesterday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri wrote to the Director-General of the Population and Immigration Authority Shlomo Mor-Yosef to inform him of the plan. In the letter, Deri said that due to the improvement in the situation in Israel regarding the Covid virus and air travel and the improvement in the situation in receiving vaccinations and injuries in many other countries, “there is room to expand the scope of the calm in allowing foreigners to enter Israel and change the current method of approvals that imposes the greatest burden on Israeli representatives abroad and on the authority of population and immigration in Israel.” Deri said that he consulted with the Minister of Health, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and other professional staff on the matter and decided to “allow vaccinators from countries designated by the Ministry of Health to enter Israel, through an abbreviated process that is currently being drafted.” Israel closed its borders to non-Israeli passport holders in early March 2020 with some special exceptions for diplomats, students, businessmen and sympathetic family visits. On May 23, in a pilot project the borders were reopened to tourists in organized groups. Dozens of these groups have since entered Israel with all the tourists required to have two vaccines, arriving with a negative Covid test and a serological test on arrival to prove they have developed Covid antibodies. Deri’s decision will likely be overturned by the next interior minister, but head of the Israel Travel and Tourism Agents Association Yossi Patel is urging the new government to press ahead with its relaxations with tens of millions of dollars worth of bookings. Patel also called for serology tests to be canceled, which he described as a “unique celebration of the State of Israel.” Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on June 11, 2021 © Copyright Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021


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