In October, the Health Ministry of Israel released rules which would have granted quarantine exemptions to travelers arriving from Red countries, based on serological (antibody) testing. This news was a significant breakthrough for those who had suffered from Corona abroad but did not have PCR documentation.
Disappointingly, this dispensation was suspended just a few days after it was established. However, in a new missive issued late on December 16, Dr. Sharon Elrai-Preis, Director of Public Health Services, announced that exemptions for travelers based on serological testing will be reinstated, effective Sunday, December 20.
The details of the new process are still unclear. What is known at this point is that passengers arriving from abroad who have proof of either positive Covid PCR results, or possessing antibodies will be required to undergo a test in Israel showing that they have antibodies. Upon receiving these results, they will need to apply to the Ministry of Health with both the documentation from abroad as well as their results from Israel, and wait until they are granted an exemption. Until then, they must remain in quarantine.
Ministry officials tell Chaim V’Chessed that only results from certain, approved laboratories will be accepted by the Ministry. A list of accepted laboratories is due to be released in coming days. We will issue further updates as information becomes available.
NOTE: Despite the possibility of receiving a quarantine exemption, foreigners are still barred from entering Israel, unless they obtain a special entry permit. Furthermore, those applying to enter for simchas, medical emergencies, etc. must continue to present proof of at least a 14 day visit, and their application will be rejected if they do not. If they receive an exemption, they will be allowed to depart Israel earlier.