Israel Becomes Latest Country to Eliminate Pre-departure COVID-19 Testing

The requirement will be lifted on May 21.

Israel will eliminate pre-arrival testing for all visitors this weekend, the Israel Ministry of Tourism shared with Travel + Leisure.

The rule lift, which will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on May 21, will apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, according to the government. It comes months after Israel started allowing unvaccinated travelers to enter the country.

Israel is also eliminating the need to get tested with a PCR test upon arrival. Travelers will still have to fill out an entry statement form before their departure and wear a mask on international flights.

"This new development in Israel's testing and entry requirements is another fantastic step in being able to welcome visitors back to Israel," Eyal Carlin, the tourism commissioner for North America, told T+L. "With travelers planning their summer and fall trips now, this will make traveling to Israel simpler and more relaxing upon arrival – your vacation will really begin when you step off the plane! We hope this new ease in restrictions will allow for even more visitors to enjoy our country."

Tourists stand at the Mt. of Olives as evening falls over the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel.
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Currently, travelers are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before their flight, as well as get tested with another PCR test upon arrival. Travelers who contracted COVID-19 and recovered can show proof of that instead of a PCR test.

All visitors are also currently required to isolate in a hotel until they receive the results from their on-arrival test or for up to 24 hours, whichever comes first.

With the new rules, travelers will not be required to isolate for 24 hours after entering the country.

Israel first started welcoming tourists back to the country in January after temporarily closing its border due to the emergence of the omicron variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently classifies Israel as a "Level 3" country, indicating a "high" level of COVID-19 transmission.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles