Updated: February 2, 2021 14:41 IST
The saga of emergency travel in and out of Israel continues.
As reported by Chaim V’Chessed, flights in and out of Israel are prohibited through February 7. Late yesterday, Monday, February 1, Israeli authorities announced that there will be daily emergency flights from Tel Aviv to Frankfurt and back. These flights will be operated by Israir, and may be purchased on their website or via a travel agent.
Sources in the travel industry have warned Chaim V’Chessed representatives that it will be extremely risky to utilize these flights if transiting through Germany. (i.e. travel to/from North America through Germany.) They expect serious complications for those traveling through Germany. One prominent travel agent announced that she will not sell tickets on these flights, due to the risks that passengers will be taking.
Due to these concerns, Chaim V’Chessed is intensely lobbying for non-stop emergency flights to North America.
Outbound Flights from Israel
The outbound flights to Germany may be a viable option for travelers seeking to reach destinations in Europe. However, Chaim V’Chessed representatives immediately noticed that these flights are a very poor option for travelers seeking to reach North America. This is due to the fact that these flights are currently scheduled to land well after any flights depart to the United States or Canada. Hence, anyone seeking to travel on these flights with onward travel to the US will be forced to overnight in Germany. As entry to Germany is barred to non-Germans, this will mean overnighting in the Frankfurt airport.
Another important point to remember is that all travelers to Germany, including transit passengers, must have a negative Covid test taken in the past 48 hours (as opposed to the US which requires a test from the past 72 hours).
Inbound Flights to Israel from Germany
The authorities have publicized that a special permit will be needed to board the emergency flights from Germany to Israel. Click here to apply for this permit. However, it is important to note that the Israir website itself states that ‘priority will be given to passengers with exceptional permits to enter Israel’. This sounds as if the permit is preferred, but not mandatory. Hence, it is not totally clear whether a permit must be in hand to board the flight to Israel. In any event, we strongly encourage travelers to apply for the permit.
Many travelers from the US are considering flying to Germany to board the Israir flight to Israel. However, this too is fraught with complication, as it is not clear whether the passengers will be allowed to fly to Germany on one ticket and then continue on to Israel on a subsequent, separate ticket. We are seeking clarification on these matters. Passengers should certainly confirm with a qualified travel agent before making plans.
It should be recalled that all travelers entering Israel must present a negative Covid test taken in the past 72 hours, unless they are documented as vaccinated/recovered in Israel. Additionally, this health declaration is required of all passengers entering Israel.
Furthermore, all passengers arriving in Israel through February 7 must quarantine for 10 to 14 days in government quarantine hotels. People who have been vaccinated or have recovered from Corona IN ISRAEL are exempt from this requirement.
Lastly, foreigners remain barred from entering Israel. Foreigners may only enter Israel if they have an entry permit allowing them to enter Israel. This is SEPARATE from the special flight permit described above.
This is an extremely dynamic situation. Rules and details can – and will – change rapidly. Please continue to follow www.chaimvchessed.com for further information. You may subscribe to our updates by clicking here.