How Jerusalem Is Becoming More Accessible to Visitors With Disabilities
Jerusalem is becoming more accessible to visitors with disabilities, allowing even more people to discover its historic alleyways and sites just as the country starts welcoming American tourists again.
To help people get around, the city has installed ramps to make its stone streets wheelchair accessible and made improvements to nearly four miles of Jerusalem's alleyways, the Israel Ministry of Tourism shared with Travel + Leisure.
Bluetooth devices known as beacons have also been installed for those who are visually impaired, which are compatible with an app called "Step-Hear." Currently, 60 beacons have been placed around the Old City with plans to install an additional 140. The app is currently available in both Hebrew and English. Arabic will be added within a week.
Additionally, other popular sites and attractions within Israel are also working to become more accessible like The Tower of David, which is adding elevators and ramps, as well as several beaches in Tel Aviv where beach access mats have been installed all the way to the waterline.
The improvements, years in the making, have been the brainchild of the
Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, Israel Ministry of Tourism along with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Jerusalem Development Authority, and the East Jerusalem Development Company.
Israel reopened its borders to all international tourists including from the United States, on Sunday after temporarily closing them in late November due to the spread of the omicron variant. Vaccinated travelers must show proof of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before their flight, fill out a passenger declaration form, and get tested with another PCR test upon arrival. Travelers will have to quarantine in a hotel for up to 24 hours until their results come back negative.
All travelers must be fully vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within six months, or have received a booster dose to enter. Alternatively, travelers who contracted COVID-19 and recovered may be able to enter.
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.