Health Ministry plans to ease pre-flight testing rules for incoming travelers

Health Ministry plans to ease pre-flight testing rules for incoming travelers

Well being officers agreed on Tuesday to ease necessities for pre-flight COVID testing for these touring to Israel from overseas.

At the moment, anybody getting into the State of Israel should current a unfavorable PCR check administered within the 72 hours earlier than departure, or they won’t be allowed to board a flight. Beneath the brand new proposal, which is topic to approval by the federal government and the Knesset, vacationers might be allowed to decide as an alternative to current a unfavorable antigen check — administered by a testing company, and never at residence — taken within the 24-hour interval earlier than boarding.

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“This choice was made in coordination with the transportation and tourism ministries,” the Well being Ministry stated in an announcement, “in a joint effort to permit the renewal of incoming tourism in addition to to ease the scenario for Israelis touring overseas — whereas persevering with to guard public well being.”

Each particular person who enters Israel will nonetheless be required to bear a PCR check upon touchdown at Ben-Gurion Worldwide Airport.

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Israel ostensibly reopened to overseas vacationers on November 1, after the nation was largely shut to non-Israelis for 18 months. However with strict limitations nonetheless in place, the nation has not seen a flood of vacationers. Beneath the present tips, non-Israelis can solely enter Israel if they’ve acquired a 3rd booster dose of one of many COVID vaccines acknowledged by the World Well being Group, or in the event that they acquired their second dose extra just lately than six months earlier than the tip date of their journey in Israel.

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Israel has efficiently exited its fourth COVID wave, with each new instances and severe instances dropping steadily over the previous month. However with morbidity reaching a peak throughout a lot of Europe, some well being officers are involved about new variants and outbreaks getting into Israel from overseas.

Vacationers arrive at Ben Gurion Airport as Israel opens it borders and permit vacationers to enter the nation after months of conserving its borders closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, November 1, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/ FLASH90)

As of Tuesday night, there have been 5,173 energetic COVID instances in Israel, with 179 of them hospitalized, 137 in severe situation and 91 on ventilators. A month in the past, there have been greater than 375 Israelis with COVID in severe situation. Simply 522 new COVID instances have been reported on Monday, in contrast with peaks of greater than 10,000 a day in early September.

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Well being Ministry director-general Nachman Ash stated Sunday that restrictions is perhaps reinstated for these arriving from sure European nations.

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“We might return to classifying some nations as pink, after which it is going to be prohibited to journey to them,” stated Ash. However he stated that there’s “no intention” to bar the entry of vacationers total or reimpose sweeping restrictions on journey overseas, noting that at present, the variety of contaminated vacationers amongst arrivals was low.

A World Well being Group official declared earlier this month that Europe is once more on the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Romania, Bulgaria, and the Balkan states recorded a number of the highest per-capita loss of life charges on this planet within the first week of November, in accordance with the WHO. International locations together with Austria and the Netherlands have instituted new lockdown measures, as different nations mull bringing again sure restrictions.

Occasions of Israel employees and AP contributed to this report.

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