Thursday. 25.04.2024
Israel is targeting a July start for the complete reopening of the country to tourists vaccinated against Covid-19.

After the first group trips starting at the end of May, individual visits could possibly be allowed in July, Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen said at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

"Practice makes perfect," she said.

She said it was time to exploit the great advantage Israel had "as a healthy and vaccinated destination."

Israel had virtually sealed itself off immediately after the coronavirus pandemic began. Foreigners were only allowed to enter in exceptional cases.

The tourism industry is an important economic factor for the country and had suffered greatly from the consequences of the crisis.

In mid-April, the Mediterranean country announced a gradual reopening for tourists.

Initially, groups are to be allowed entry from May 23. These visits could be monitored more easily, said Farkash-Hacohen.

Travel requirements

Prerequisites include vaccinations approved by the FDA and EMA drug authorities, a PCR test before departure and a serological test on arrival.

The minister announced that Israel would be launching large-scale campaigns in Dubai, London and New York to woo people willing to travel. There are already many vaccinated people in those places.

The country, with a population of just more than 9 million, has been successfully implementing a vaccination campaign since 19 December, with more than half the population now fully vaccinated. The number of new infections and serious illnesses has fallen sharply.

Parallel to the progress of the vaccination campaign, the government has started with gradual relaxations of coronavirus restrictions.

Vaccinated individuals can possibly travel to Israel starting in July