This post is for those who are planning to travel from the US to Israel for the Shiloh dig in May/June.
I know that a lot of people have questions about Israel’s entry requirements for traveling to Israel in relation to COVID. Just recently, the Ministry of Health has eased up quite a bit, but it is still important to follow the required steps. I’m also aware that it is possible that things may change again before May, making this information obsolete. But, if things remain the way they are, here is what you need to know:
- The Ministry of Health website is the official place to go for up-to-date information.
- You are NOT required to be vaccinated against or recovered from COVID in order to enter Israel.
- This should be really good news for some of you!
- You MUST have health insurance that covers the treatment of COVID-19.
- You need to be able to show proof that your insurance covers COVID.
- If your insurance can’t/won’t provide paperwork to that effect, consider purchasing a travel insurance policy. IMGlobal covers COVID and it says so on their paperwork.
- Within 72 hours before your departure to Israel, you MUST take a PCR COVID test, and your passport number MUST be on the results.
- There are a few exceptions to this rule, but pretty much everybody needs to do this.
- It must be a PCR test – not any other type of COVID test.
- In order to check in for your flight (this means your first flight, if you have a connection), you need to present negative test results.
- Make sure that the place where you get tested is willing and able to put your passport number on the test results. This is important.
- Within 48 hours of your departure, you MUST fill out this Entry Statement.
- You will need to enter your personal information, itinerary, and your COVID vaccination/recovery status, if applicable. Again, you are NOT required to be vaccinated or recovered.
- You will also need to tell them where you plan to quarantine. If you are part of the Shiloh dig team, you can tell them that you will quarantine at the hotel, which will either be the Ritz or the Ambassador. You should know which one by the time you are filling out the form. Make sure that you know the address of the hotel.
- They will probably ask for a valid Israeli phone number. Make sure that you have one to give them. If you don’t have an Israeli number, give them Scott’s or mine.
- While filling out this form, you will be offered the opportunity to pre-pay a discounted amount for a PCR test at the Tel Aviv airport. This is a very good idea. It will save you time and money at the airport.
- When you check in at the airport and again when you arrive in Israel, you may be required to present the following documents. You may also have to show them before you board your direct flight to Israel. Make sure that you have them.
- A digital OR printed copy of the confirmation that you filled out the Entry Statement.
- A negative PCR test result with your passport number on it.
- On the flight, everyone over 7 years of age MUST wear a mask.
- When you arrive in Tel Aviv, you MUST take a PCR test.
- Hopefully, you took my advice above, and pre-paid for it. If not, you will need to stand in line to to pay for it before standing in line to be tested.
- When you leave the airport, you MUST go directly to the location at which you have chosen to quarantine.
- You ARE allowed to take public transportation to go to your quarantine location.
- You are required to quarantine for 24 hours or until your PCR test results from the Tel Aviv airport come back negative, whichever comes first.
- If you were able to demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated or recovered according to the guidelines that you can find here, you will be issued a Green Pass. If you are not vaccinated or recovered, you will not get a Green Pass.
- If you come into close contact with someone who has COVID while you are in Israel, and you have a Green Pass, you can continue as normal.
- If you come into close contact with someone who has COVID while you are in Israel and you do not have a Green Pass, you must quarantine for at least five days and until you test negative for COVID. You can read the guidelines for quarantine here.
- Everyone seems to agree that in Israel it is required to wear face masks while in enclosed areas with other people. I can’t actually find that regulation on the Health Ministry website, so I’m not 100% sure about it.
You may also want to read this post I wrote a few months ago. A lot of the COVID information is outdated, but I included other, more general information about traveling to Israel that you might find helpful.
Please feel free to ask if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to you navigate though all the red tape on your journey to Israel.