Traveling to Israel: Everything to Know about Coronavirus

Corona Guide to Israel

The Guide to Israel > Corona Guide to Israel
Last updated March 1st 2022 Abraham here with some great news: after Israel’s latest closure to tourists, the country is once again opening its borders. This means international tourists and backpackers can travel to Israel once again, and we couldn’t be more excited! Truth be told, our hostels have been lonely without their usual community of travelers from around the world. While our staff and Israeli guests are awesome, international travelers really are the lifeblood of Abraham Hostels.

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We would love to host you during your time here in Israel as soon as possible. But as is the case in most places, there are certain requirements and restrictions still in place for independent travelers who want to visit Israel. So before you book your plane ticket (and your room here at Abraham Hostels), make sure you meet all of the requirements. We will update this post and you can also find information on the official website

Unsure of all of the COVID travel requirements in Israel? Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Israel right now:

Current Travel Requirements:

We’re so glad you’re planning to come to Israel! In order to visit Israel as an independent traveler, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Tourists of all ages, vaccinated and unvaccinated, are allowed to enter Israel, subject to two PCR tests prior to takeoff and landing in Israel.
  • Following the PCR test at the airport in Israel, travelers are required to go into isolation until they receive a negative result on the PCR or for 24 hours, whichever is earlier.

Non-Israeli travelers who remained outside of Israel for more than 72 hours will be required to present one of the following documents:

  • A negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before boarding your flight to Israel.
  • A positive result on a rapid (antigen) test by an authorized testing site, or a PCR test (taken less than three months prior) at least 8 days after the test—the test date being day 1.
  • Exempt from testing approved by the Exceptions Committee.

Those who are not considered vaccinated or recovered according to the guidance of the Ministry of Health, and do not receive a Green Pass after filling a statement of entry to Israel – will be required to go into isolation in the event of exposure to a confirmed COVID case during their stay in Israel.

COVID Protocols for Travelers to Israel

Every traveler needs certain documents and testing done in order to enter Israel (yes, even though you’re vaccinated). There are things you must do before, during, and after you fly.

Here are the things every traveler must have in order to be granted entry into Israel:

Before you leave for Israel:

Every traveler needs a negative PCR test to enter Israel, taken within 72-hours of departure. It must be a PCR test, a rapid test does not meet the requirements.

You can also take a rapid test within 24 hours prior to your flight, instead of a PCR. Only tests administered by professional samples are accepted, and home test kits are not accepted.

Only those with a negative result will be permitted to board the flight. An official document attesting to the negative result must be presented in English, along with your passport number.

Please note, if your travel includes a connecting flight to Israel with a waiting time of more than 24 hours in between flights, you must ensure the PCR test is taken within 72 hours before the departure of the flight landing in Israel.

You also need to fill out an entry form no more than 48 hours before entering Israel.

If you have a verifiable digital vaccine or recovery certificate, you will upload your certificate and receive a “Green Pass” before boarding your flight. If you do not have a verifiable digital certificate, you will fill out a declaration regarding your vaccines and will attach documents. You will also receive a “Green Pass” before boarding.

You are exempt from the pre-flight PCR test if:
– You stayed outside of Israeli territories for no more than 72 hours from the time of landing to the time of departure to Israel.
– You have recovered from COVID-19 and present the airline with a positive result on a PCR test taken less than three months prior, with at least 11 days having passed since the date of the test.
masks on at abraham hostel

When you board your flight, you’ll be asked for:

Documentation of your negative PCR test
Confirmation that you submitted an entry form
A vaccination certificate or digital recovery certificate

Finally, once you land, you’ll need to do the following:

You will need to take a second PCR test upon landing in Ben Gurion airport. Upon completing your entry form, you will receive a link to pay for the test in advance at a reduced cost.

After your test and upon arriving at the hostel, you will need to isolate yourself until you receive the results of your test (they will be texted and emailed to you). Reduced isolation lasts for 24 hours, or until you receive a negative result on the PCR test taken upon arrival. If you’re a guest at our hostel, you can order food from any place in the city to your room during your isolation. Our reception team will be happy to help bring the food to your room.

If you plan to travel to Israel by sea or by land, there are similar requirements. Please visit this page for more information.

What We Mean By “Independent Traveler”

Israel has been closed to individual travelers during periods of the pandemic, but tourists that are part of certain tour groups or who received special permission have been allowed entry into the country. With the updated entry protocols, individual travelers can once again visit Israel. Keep in mind that the vaccination and testing requirements might be different if you are part of a tour group, please consult your tour operator and the website of the Israel government for more information.

Requirements When Traveling In Israel

Once you’re here in Israel, you’ll notice that there are some safety requirements and procedures in place. Here’s what you need to know:

Green pass

Here in Israel we are using a Green Pass system (also called Tav Yarok in Hebrew). The document on your phone allows you to enter certain ‘hgh risk’ venues and events, such as weddings, clubs and large parties. When you submit your entry documents to the government (before you fly), you’ll receive a PDF of a Green Pass by email. You can follow updates on requirements for the Green Pass here.

Mask mandate

There is an indoor mask mandate in effect in Israel at this time. As of December 30, 2021, everyone partaking in an outdoor gathering of more than 50 people must also wear a mask.

Israel’s “Traffic Light Model״

Israel is using a color-coded system (similar to that of a traffic light) to distinguish between places with different levels of coronavirus infection. For local information within Israel, click here. For guidance on international travel (and which countries are deemed “red”) click here.

Vaccines Accepted By Israel

Keep in mind that only certain vaccines are accepted and recognized by Israel at this time. They are the ones approved by WHO and include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), Sinovac, Sinopharm, Bharat Biotech and the Serum Institute of India.

The Sputnik V vaccine is also recognized in Israel, but there are additional testing requirements for travelers who wish to enter Israel with it.

abraham covid 19 test

Details About Vaccination Rates in Israel

Israel has launched very effective vaccination and booster shot campaigns. Millions of people here in Israel are fully vaccinated (a majority of our population). There is a government dashboard with the latest information about COVID-19 cases, but it is only available in Hebrew. To check the status of a specific city in Israel, head over to the government’s Traffic Light Model.

What To Do When You’re In Israel

Ahhh, so you’ve finally made it back here to Israel, and you’re not sure what to do or where to start. Just a quick reminder, we have four incredible hostels which are waiting to welcome you: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Eilat, and Nazareth, as well as amazing tours that run all over the country – you can choose your next adventure HERE. We’ve also written guides on things to do in Tel Aviv, made a video guide to our Tel Aviv hostel, and wrote about the best Israeli galleries and art museums. 

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