Updated April 13, 2021 10:12 PM IST
Due to the relaxation of entry rules, thousands are now traveling to Israel. Additionally, students who have been issued entry permits are hastening to commence their studies in Israel this week. Several issues and problems which have come up are addressed below.
PCR Tests: Required for Babies as Well
As we have noted earlier, every single traveler to Israel must present a negative Covid test in order to be allowed to board a flight to Israel. This includes passengers of ALL ages – including newborn babies. Chaim V’Chessed has been contacted on a daily basis by frantic parents in airports abroad who arrived for their flights without Covid tests for their young babies. Unfortunately, we have not been able to help as this is an ironclad requirement.
Passport Numbers on PCR Tests
In recent days, passengers traveling on United Airlines from Newark to Tel Aviv have been prevented from boarding if their PCR tests did not include their passport number. This, in fact, is not a requirement of the Israeli authorities, but rather was instituted by United airport representatives. We have contacted United officials in Israel who have said that his policy will be lifted. We are hopeful that this will take effect immediately. However, whenever possible, attempt to have your passport number listed on your PCR test, to avoid any difficulties.
Air France Demanding Medical Insurance
A sizable group of yeshiva students are currently being detained in Paris and are being prevented from boarding their Air France flight to Tel Aviv. According to airline officials, these students must present proof of medical insurance in Israel. In fact, although it is always recommended to have medical insurance, there is no such requirement forcing passengers to show proof of insurance. Chaim V’Chessed has reached out to the Foreign Ministry who has confirmed that this is not an Israeli policy, but rather an Air France requirement. Israeli Embassy officials in Paris are attempting to have this rule revoked. In the meantime, Chaim V’Chessed has suggested a creative work-around for detained passengers:. We have advised them to simply go online and purchase traveler’s insurance policies which will satisfy the Air France requirement.
UPDATE: Air France has conceded that there is no such requirement, and allowed the un-insured passengers to board their flight. However, at this hour, passengers traveling on Air Canada are now being stymied by a similar demand for medical insurance. Chaim V’Chessed representatives are now involved in resolving this misunderstanding by the airline. At the same time, we are advising travelers to immediately purchase travelers insurance policies which cover Covid. This can be done online.
Repeat Entry Permits
We have received numerous queries as to whether students who have received entry permits will be allowed to receive a second entry permit, should they leave Israel during their studies. As of now, it is unclear whether authorities will issue second permits, and some are indicating a lack of willingness to do so. The issue continues to be discussed, but it should not be assumed that second permits will be granted.
Hence, we advise students who wish to travel abroad to proceed with caution.