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New regulations of entry to Israel for tourists: what has changed for Ukrainians

Israel will allow small tourist groups from selected countries to enter the country from September 19 as part of a pilot tourism promotion program. Vaccinated Ukrainians will also be able to get to Israel.

As indicated in the message of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, the main requirement for the entry is to be vaccinated with three doses of the vaccine, or that six months have not passed since the second vaccination. Tourists will also be required to present a negative PCR test result obtained 72 hours prior to the arrival and do a serological test upon landing at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

Tourist groups of 5 to 30 people from countries included in Israel's "green", "yellow", and "orange" lists will be able to enter the country. All members of the group, without exception, must be vaccinated. Ukraine has an "orange" status. Turkey, Bulgaria, Brazil, and Mexico are currently on the "red" list.

Individual tourists who have been banned from visiting Israel since the start of the pandemic (from March 2020) will still not be allowed outside the tour group. An exception will be made only for persons visiting relatives. Israel's plans to allow individual tourists to enter from July 1 have been delayed due to the current surge in infection.

Context. In May, amid declining COVID-19 infections, Israel allowed small tourist groups to enter the country. At that time more than 2,000 visitors arrived, mainly from the United States and Europe. However, this initiative was put on hold in August as there was a new surge of COVID-19 due to the spread of the Delta variant in the country.

Out of 9.3 million Israel's population, 5.5 million received the second vaccination, another 2.5 million received the third, the so-called "booster" dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

A record 4.55 million tourists visited Israel in 2019, providing 23 billion shekels ($7.2 billion) to the local economy.

In Ukraine, revaccination against coronavirus can begin only in a year.

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