Israel approves plan to welcome vaccinated tourists from November 1
Approved vaccines are only those recognized by the World Health Organization. As such, Russia’s Sputnik V is not included.
Specifically, people who have received the Pfizer vaccine are eligible if at least seven days have passed since receiving the second dose and no more than 180 days.
For those who have taken the other vaccines, 14 days must have passed and no more than 180 days.
In addition, anyone who has received a booster of these vaccines in the past six months will also be able to come to Israel.
In addition, recovered people who can prove they tested positive at least 11 days before entering Israel and less than 180 days ago are also eligible. If more than six months have passed and these people receive a recall, they can also enter the country.
All travelers will be required to pass a PCR test within 72 hours of boarding the aircraft and upon arrival. They will also need to stay in isolation until the test results come back negative.
However, these tourists will not be required to take a serological test to prove that they have been vaccinated. Until now, anyone who got vaccinated abroad and managed to enter the country had to have one of these blood tests.
Anyone qualified to enter the country will also receive a Green Pass and will be able to enter restaurants, cafes and other leisure venues where this pass is required for the duration of their stay.
Children under 12, who are currently not eligible for vaccination, will not be able to enter Israel unless they have recovered from the virus within the past six months.
The United States Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing data provided by Pfizer on a vaccination protocol for children aged 5 to 11. The regulator is expected to make a decision on giving the vaccine to young children by early next month.
Earlier this week, the White House released its own overview of how youth immunization works in the United States.
In addition, the group tourism scheme will be expanded, also on November 1.
These are groups that receive permission to enter Israel from the Ministry of Tourism. All travelers must be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.
The group will operate in Israel as a âcapsuleâ, which means that group members are in contact only with people in their group. These groups will not have free time outside the group and their movement will be restricted in areas where the risk of infection is increased.
Up to 2,000 travelers approved by the Ministry of Tourism can enter the country each day. None of the group members could have been in a “red” country with a heavy infection within 14 days of arriving in Israel.
The statement regarding individual trips did not specify what documents travelers will be asked to present in order to prove their vaccination status, or how the procedure will work.
So far, Israel has not officially recognized any entry documents issued by the foreigner and has asked the limited number of travelers allowed to enter the country to undergo a serological test to prove the presence of antibodies in the blood. .
However, last month Israel reached an agreement to join the European Union’s COVID digital certificate program, ensuring mutual recognition of green passes with around 40 other countries.
For other countries that do not issue similar electronic documents – like the United States – visitors are supposed to be able to enter Israel with their own health declaration, said Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis, chief of public health services. at the Ministry of Health. the week.
“They are going to come in with their own vaccination declaration,” she said in conversation with Jerusalem post at its annual conference. âOnce in, they must present their vaccination status and certificates. A percentage of them will be inspected.
Israel’s borders have been closed to foreign nationals for a year and a half since the start of the pandemic, with very limited exceptions. As of May, vaccinated or cured first-degree relatives of Israelis have been allowed entry, but only on condition that they obtain approval from the Population Authority of the Interior Ministry or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The process for requesting and receiving such approvals has been cumbersome and unreliable – many people have been forced to cancel or reschedule their trips due to the Israeli authorities’ delay in responding to their requests.
The prime minister’s office has already said in its announcement that it will monitor the AY4.2 variant and may update the plan if necessary.
On Thursday, the health ministry announced that five more cases of the variant had been found in Israel, two days after the first carrier of AY4 was identified in an 11-year-old boy returning from Moldova.
Following the discovery, the ministry’s testing lab looked at other potential cases previously classified as the Delta variant and found that all five people were infected with AY4.2, which is believed to be a subvariant of Delta and appears to be around 10-15% more contagious.
Also on Thursday, two outbreaks of the coronavirus were identified in two primary schools in Jerusalem and in the Samaria settlement Shaarei Tikva, the Jerusalem Post confirmed, as more than 50% of new cases in the past 24 hours were recorded in children aged 0 to 11. Data from the Ministry of Health showed.
Some 42 students and staff have tested positive in Zalman Aren schools in Jerusalem and 39 in Shaarei Tikva.
Both schools operate under the new green classroom scheme, whereby only identified virus carriers need to be quarantined, while those exposed can continue to attend the in-person learning provided they obtain a negative PCR test after coming into contact with an infected person and undergoing a rapid test every day for seven days, followed by a second PCR test at the end of the period. However, after the outbreak, the school in Jerusalem was closed.
The green classroom plan has been strongly supported by Bennett and the Department of Education to reduce the number of children and parents forced into self-isolation. It began to be implemented in low morbidity (or green according to the Traffic Light Program) areas on October 10, a week before the planned end of the pilot project launched by the Ministry of Health in a limited number of schools. to monitor its potential effects.
From Sunday, the framework will also be applied in kindergartens and in cities classified in yellow.
While morbidity in Israel has been steadily declining for weeks, as of Thursday, nearly 9,000 out of 15,000 active cases in the country were schoolchildren.
Some 1,025 new carriers of the virus were identified on Wednesday, of which more than 50 were 11 years old or younger – the cohort is not yet eligible for a vaccine.
While a few weeks earlier new cases often exceeded 5,000 per day, over the past ten days they have remained below 2,000 and are declining steadily.
The number of serious patients also continued to decline – standing at 330 on Thursday, less than half a month earlier.