Israel Will Welcome Vaccinated American Tourists This Weekend After Temporarily Closing Its Borders
Israel will once again welcome all international visitors, including from the United States, after closing its borders to Americans in late November, the Israel Ministry of Tourism shared with Travel + Leisure.
Starting Sunday, all vaccinated international tourists will be able to visit the country by showing proof of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before their flight, filling out a passenger declaration form, and getting 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.
"We are thrilled that our incredible country is once again opening its borders to travelers worldwide," Eyal Carlin, the tourism commissioner for North America, said in a statement provided to T+L. "Israel continues to take countless necessary steps to ensure a COVID-safe experience for both those coming into the country as well as our residents. It's important for our visitors to feel confident when exploring our country and we're so excited to welcome everyone back!"
Israel first reopened to group tours in May 2021 before temporarily pausing the reopening due to the spread of the delta variant. The country then welcomed individual American tourists on Nov. 1, but was again forced to pause its border reopening due to the emergence of the omicron variant.
While few countries took a page out of Israel's book in closing their borders completely, many countries did take steps to strengthen their border protocols as the omicron variant began to spread around the world. The U.S., for example, shortened its testing window for incoming passengers, requiring all international travelers, including U.S. citizens, to get tested within one day of boarding a flight.
Similarly, the United Kingdom implemented pre-arrival tests and quarantine measures for travelers, but started lifting those protocols on Friday as well.
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.