On Monday Israel reopened to individual vaccinated tourists, arriving not as part of a tour group.
Several hotels, which had remained closed throughout the pandemic, reopened in honor of the incoming tourists, Israel Hayom said. Among the reopened hotels were the Indigo in Ramat Gan, the Galei Kinneret in northern Israel, and others.
Under the new rules, tourists who are fully vaccinated, one or two weeks after the second dose (depending on the vaccine) and less than six months after the second dose, are allowed to enter Israel. Those who received the second dose over two months ago are required to receive a booster dose before entering Israel. Tourists who can prove coronavirus recovery are allowed to enter with proof of having received a single dose of a vaccine.
Approved vaccines include all of those recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Until now, Israel only allowed entry of organized tour groups and first-degree relatives of Israeli citizens and permanent residents, and required that each individual be pre-approved before entry.
Not everyone is happy about the change: Many in the tourism industry have claimed that the policies do not allow for a full reopening, since most of the world's vaccinated individuals received their second dose over six months ago and have not yet received the booster dose, and therefore are not exempt from quarantine under Israeli law.
Amir Halevi, Director General of the Tourism Ministry, is counting on the American tourists.
"This is our largest and most central market, and we have an excellent staff which has brought us to record heights and will know how to get us out of this crisis," he told Israel Hayom.