Israel's cabinet approved the reopening of the country's borders to all tourists, including unvaccinated visitors, from March 1. The move comes almost exactly two years after Israel close its borders to non-Israeli passport holders in early March 2020, in efforts to halt the spread of the Covid virus. Israel reopened last month to tourists, who have been vaccinated, but now all restrictions are being lifted.
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, "We see a consistent fall in the infection figures and so this is the time to gradually reopen what we were the first to close. Our measurements and the situation on the ground have to match up with what we are telling the public and expect from them," Globes reports.
Bennett added, "At the same time, we will keep our finger on the pulse, and in the event of a new variant, we will again react swiftly."
Israel's cabinet understood that it needed to take action to save the tourist industry in time for the Passover holiday in April and the summer vacations. Very few children overseas are vaccinated and the current situation blocks options for a family vacation in Israel.
Foreign tourists will require a PCR test before boarding flights to Israel and again when arriving at Ben Gurion airport.
Entry into Israel for Israelis returning from abroad will also be eased with antigen or PCR tests no longer required before boarding flights, although the need for a PCR test at Ben Gurion airport will remain. Unvaccinated Israelis will no longer be required to undergo isolation when returning from abroad.
Femi Test & Go, which conducts the tests at Ben Gurion airport, is preparing to enlarge its operations.