Published October 28, 2021 6:59 PM IST
Update – October 31, 2021: SEE UPDATED INFORMATION ABOUT TOURIST ENTRY HERE
One week ago, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett approved a plan which will allow vaccinated and recovered tourists into the country as of November 1. Much to our dismay, even as November nears, many details of the new plan have not yet been totally finalized. Although a recommendation from the Health Ministry was issued today, it has not yet been accepted by Misrad HaPnim or approved by the Corona Cabinet. Even if it will be implemented, many questions remain unanswered, some of them with serious ramifications for travelers.
The following issues remain unclear at this time:
- Will documentation of vaccination/recovery need to be digitally verifiable, as in the European Union? If so, this will effectively bar US citizens from gaining entry to Israel, as PCR and vaccine documents in that country are not digitalized.
- Will persons holding a valid Tav Yarok (Green Pass), but who do not qualify under the new entry rules be allowed to enter Israel?
- The new rules will come into effect on Monday, November 1. Will they apply to those departing for Israel on October 31, who will land in Israel on November 1, or will they only apply for passengers beginning travel on November 1?
- In a similar vein, numerous travelers have already received entry permits to enter the country. Will they still be able to use these permits if they do not meet the new requirements for entry?
- Currently, first degree relatives of Israeli citizens may receive permission to enter Israel, provided they are vaccinated or recovered from Covid at any time. Similarly, relatives may enter for births or weddings of non-citizens. Will these permits continue to be issued?
- Will visa holders need to conform to the same rules as tourists? If they do, any visa holder who does not meet the new entry criteria will not be permitted to return to Israel should they leave the country. This is particularly relevant to visa holders with children under age 12, who cannot be vaccinated. If these children did not recover from Covid in Israel over the past 180 days, they will have no route to re-enter the country. Similarly, adult visa holders who did not have Covid, or, for any reason, were not vaccinated in the past 180 days, will not be granted entry.
- Lastly, at the current time, visa holders may apply for a special return permit to return to Israel, via this link. This grants re-entry to Israel for 45 days. Will these permits be honored after November 1?
Chaim V’Chessed representatives have received conflicting responses to these questions from officials over the past several days. Furthermore, it must be emphasized that despite various media reports, announcements and updates, no final policies have yet been agreed upon. Hence, we can only counsel patience and caution until matters are clarified. As soon as an OFFICIAL policy is announced, it will be posted on www.chaimvchessed.com and shared with subscribers of our updates.