Just before the beginning of Sukkot, the Health Ministry in Israel announced that individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last three months will not have to take a PCR test before they take a flight to the country. Up until now, those who had recovered were required to submit an application form in advance to the Exceptions Committee for an exemption from taking a PCR test. This request will no longer be necessary under the new rules introduced late Sunday night by the Inter-Ministerial Exceptions Committee. In order to qualify, travelers had to have tested positive for the coronavirus between 11 days and three months before.
They have to provide their positive test result and also fill out the incoming passenger statement that’s needed for anyone coming into the country. Positive rests from an antigen test or any other test are not accepted, but a recovery certificate issued in Israel that was issued in the last three months and is not based on a PCR test will qualify. According to the committee, they had already conveyed this decision to the airlines and it will be put into effect immediately. Of course, this doesn’t change the rules related to entering the country.
Up till now, Israel hasn’t been open to individual tourists and only first-degree relatives of citizens and a select group of others were permitted, all with special approval. The government has also permitted small tourist groups that are pre-approved to visit. All Israeli citizens can enter the country freely. The list of yellow, orange and red countries was also updated by the Health Ministry on Monday. From September 27th, Mexico will no longer be a red country. There are only three countries that remain in the red zone, which are Turkey, Brazil and Bulgaria. Special approval has to be obtained from the Exceptions Committee to travel to these countries.
They also released the list of yellow countries, which include New Zealand, China, Cyprus, Austria, Bahrain, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Uruguay, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Gabon. The rest of the countries are considered orange. From September 3rd, those who have received a third shot, or have been vaccinated with two doses in the last six months, have received one shot after recovering, or have recovered are no longer required to isolate for 14 days upon their return. Instead, they can be released once they take a PCR test at the airport and get a negative test, or 24 hours have passed, whichever happens first.
Those who haven’t recovered or are not vaccinated have to be isolated for 7 to 14 days when they come into the country, regardless of where they are coming from. Israel has asked the United States and the European Union to only consider its citizens as vaccinated if they meet their vaccination criteria. This means that anyone over the age of 12 who hasn’t received two shots of the vaccine in the last six months, or gotten the booster shot, will not be regarded as vaccinated abroad.