Waiting for COVID-19 tests at Ben Gurion International Airport
Waiting for COVID-19 tests at Ben Gurion International Airport Flash 90

Israel's Government Press Office (GPO) on Monday morning clarified the new entry guidelines Israel has enacted in order to stop the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

In a statement, GPO said, "Due to the outbreak of Omicron variant, Israel has tightened its borders once again. The entry of foreign visitors from all countries is banned until 13 December, unless they obtain a special permit."

"Only Israelis and fully vaccinated B1 visa holders are allowed entry to Israel without the need to obtain an entry clearance. However their family members with B2 visas do require an entry permit in accordance to the previous regulation, via the GPO.

"The entry to Israel of all foreign nationals is conditioned on presenting a vaccination certificate or an EU (only!) recovery certificate, which are less than six months old.

"The types of vaccines that are recognized are the WHO approved: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J (Janssen, single shot), Sinovac, Sinopharm, the Serum Institute of India and Sputnik V. At least 14 days must have passed from vaccination day to the day of arrival in Israel."

GPO added: "Please note that entry by foreign nationals to Israel from 'red' countries is prohibited. The list currently includes all African countries, including island nations, except those in North Africa (Mediterranean states are not banned). Israelis and fully vaccinated B1 visa holders arriving from a country on the red list will be transferred to a designated hotel for quarantine after taking a PCR test at the airport. If the result is negative and if the result of an additional PCR test to be taken on the third day is negative, they will be allowed to complete their week of quarantine at home."

"Everyone entering Israel from non-red countries, including Israelis, is required to take five steps – none of which involve the GPO," it added. These steps are:

* Present at check-in a vaccination / EU recovery certificate less than six months old.

* Present at check-in a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure.

* Submit an online entry statement form during the last 48 hours before departure that includes your health certificates (use Google Chrome).

* Take a PCR test immediately upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport and proceed to home quarantine of 3 days.

* Take a second PCR test during the third day after arrival, and await the results in order to be released from quarantine (except for arrivals from red countries).

"The above is a simplified, generalized guideline," GPO stressed, adding that those searching "for more detailed reference and borderline cases, such as combinations of recovery and vaccine, what kind of recovery certificate is recognized (currently only EU certificates based on a positive NAAT test although this may change)," and other questions should check the websites of the Health Ministry and the Population and Immigration Authority, or the Health Ministry's 24-hour hotline at *5400. Those calling from outside Israel may reach the hotline by calling +972-8624-1010.

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