COVID in Israel May be Over but Border Restrictions Remain2 min read
Next Tuesday will be a very significant moment for the people in Israel; around 15 months after the first lockdown was imposed in the country for fighting the coronavirus, there will be no more limitations on businesses, sports, and cultural venues, tourist attractions, or on family celebrations. There will no longer be any limit on the number of accesses, no special regulations applicable on serving food, and unvaccinated people will not be required to get tested. The only requirement that will remain is to wear a mask indoors and that may also be removed soon, as per health experts and officials.
Of course, this will continue to remain in effect as long as the data continues to be encouraging. In the last couple of days, only 25 to 30 cases have been identified on a daily basis, as compared to the thousands of cases that were diagnosed during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. As of Wednesday, there were only 432 people suffering from COVID in the country. In contrast, last winter there were 88,000 cases on the worst day. However, even though life in Israel is quickly going back to normal, most of the restrictions on borders and traveling will probably remain in place and will not be removed any time soon.
This is due to the fact that even though it appears that coronavirus is over, experts have said that it can also come back. They said that it is possible that new variants could appear in the future, so Israel needs to be aware of what is happening in the world and monitor their airport. As of now, Israelis who have recovered or gotten vaccinated are allowed to travel abroad and are not required to go into isolation upon their return. It is possible for foreign nationals to come into the country, but only under specific circumstances.
Likewise, people who are vaccinated and have a first-degree relative or belong to a group that has been authorized by the authorities will be permitted to enter the country. As far as general tourists are concerned, Israel will open its borders for them in June later on and individual visitors will be allowed from July. But, anyone who enters the country is required to take a corona PCR test before they are permitted to board the flight as well as after landing. In the case that they have been vaccinated already, they have to take a serological test to prove they have the antibodies.
All health experts are in agreement that if they want to prevent variants from spreading, then they need to follow quarantine protocols for those returning from abroad and are unvaccinated. People who have been exposed to a verified case, should also be put into isolation for about five days and should undergo two tests. These health experts are hopeful that by the next winter, Israel will be completely free of the coronavirus, especially if it continues to follow these rules and guidelines.