Source: New York Times
After weathering the Omicron wave, the country is turning to testing to try to let in more visitors safely.
Israel will reopen to all foreign tourists, regardless of their vaccination status, as the country eases travel restrictions amid a rapid decline in coronavirus cases from the Omicron variant.
Only fully vaccinated foreign visitors have been allowed to enter the country since January, but that mandate will end as of March 1, Israeli leaders announced in a statement Sunday. Tourists entering Israel will be required to pass two P.C.R. tests — one before departure and one after arrival.
Israel has reported a 63 percent decline in new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database.
Israel has maintained a stringent border policy throughout the pandemic and its once-thriving tourism industry has struggled. It first closed its borders to most foreign travelers in March 2020, and did not reopen them until Nov. 1, 2021. By the end of 2021, the borders were shut again, amid the Omicron wave.
The authorities are also easing restriction on Israeli nationals, who will no longer be required to undergo a P.C.R. test before their flights — only after arriving in the country. Unvaccinated Israelis will no longer have to quarantine after returning if they test negative.