Travel Rules as of March 1, 2022:
1. Anyone can come to Israel regardless of vaccination status: As of midnight March 1, 2022, any tourist can come to Israel, even if they are not vaccinated and even if they have past 180 days since their vaccinations.
2. There is no more testing before your flight to Israel or in Ben Gurion: As of May 20, 2022, there will no longer be any pre-flight testing requirement for anyone (prior to boarding a flight to Israel) nor will there be any testing at Ben Gurion Airport. There will no longer be any period of quarantine. You will have to do the 48 hour form, as noted more fully below.
3. Testing to Leave Israel: Testing to leave Israel is based solely on the requirements of your destination. Please see the Leaving Israel section below.
4. Recent Recovery or Testing Positive in Israel: If you tested positive for Covid before your flight to Israel, you are supposed to wait until day 8 to travel. If you test positive at any time during your stay in Israel but your recovery is MORE THAN 60 days old, you will be considered a new COVID case and will be subjected to at least 5 day quarantine in Israel. See section below on Quarantine. You are expected to have a proper location for quarantine and if you do not, and you test positive in Israel, you may be asked to move to a Corona hotel for quarantine although this issue is not equally enforced. You attest to this on the 48-hour form.
5. Health Declaration Form (48 Hour Form): Everyone must do the form within 48 hours of your flight to Israel. The form can be found here. Once you file this form properly, within minutes you will receive an email from “Do Not Reply-MOH,” Entry Statement which is the record you need to show at the airport. Your green pass will be included as a PDF file, along with your permit, for entry. You will not receive a green pass if you are unvaccinated, or if your vaccines are more than 180 days old, or if your recovery is not from the EU or the UK (as a digital recovery certificate), or if you chose "other" on the health declaration screen. However, there are no negative implications to not having a green pass. See Green Pass section below. For explicit step by step instructions on how to do the form, see Completing the 48 Hour Form section below. My best suggestion is to select Other to make it easier for you (Section i in the Completing the Form below)
6. Insurance: The 48 Hour form (details below) requires you to tick off a box that says "I acknowledge that holding a health insurance policy for the treatment of COVID for the duration of my visit to Israel is mandatory." You are not likely to be asked to show it, but you will be attesting that you have it. Regardless of the language on the form, or any government requirement, COVID insurance will protect you in case you get sick in Israel. You will pay the costs out of pocket but ought make sure you insurance company will cover those expenses when you return home. You do not need insurance if you are a temporary resident of Israel with an A/1 to A/5 visa or a B/1 visa who receives medical insurance through your Israeli employer. Here are some options in case you don't have coverage in your standard medical plan: Allianz, Berkshire Hathaway, Trawick, IMG, Travelex, Square Mouth, TinLeg, Egert Cohen, Harel, Travel Guard and Travelinsuranceisrael.com.
7. Flights via other countries: If you are not sure of the testing requirements via other countries, please see this site where you can find form and testing requirements for all countries: https://apply.joinsherpa.com/travel-restrictions.
Completing The 48-hour Form - How To Tips:
a. This form must be completed within 48 hours of a flight to Israel. If you are transiting with a 12 hour layover, the form gives you the option to enter than flight information as well. When using this form, give them an Israeli cell number. The Ministry of Health releases you from quarantine via SMS to an Israeli cell only. Provide specific flight information, i.e., the name of the airline, the flight number, transit flight if you are on layover more than 12 hours, and the estimated time that it arrives in Israel. You will need a specific isolation location, with a specific street address and house number that cannot be changed later on. Please note that the form does time out and if you might have to start the form again if you have left your computer for a period of time.
If you don't want the hassle of uploading your vaccine or recovery records, jump to section i below.
b. Selecting Vaccination/Recovered Abroad, or Abroad and in Israel: Select this option on the health declaration screen if you are vaccinated outside of Israel, or if you have a digital recovery from the EU or UK, or if you were vaccinated and/or recovered both in Israel and abroad. Type in your vaccinations and upload a PDF version of your vaccination records. If you have an EU or UK digital certificate, use it. If you have any other form of vaccination certificates, make a PDF and upload it. Manually enter each vaccination in chronological order (first, second and then third) and upload the PDF from the vaccination. DO NOT enter any recovery information if you are recovered outside of the EU or UK.
c. If you type in your vaccinations without uploading your vaccine records/certificate, you will get a message that offers you an option to "continue without vaccination or recovery recognition." When you select this option, you will immediately be re-routed to the "other" option on the health screen and you can complete the form without uploading vaccine or recovery information. The only negative implication of doing so is that you will not get a green pass, but a green pass is not necessary in Israel anymore.
d. It is highly recommended that you upload your vaccine information to the form. When you upload a PDF, you might get an error message that says "sorry, unable to verify the certificate. If you filled out vaccination or recovery details, they will be forwarded to the Health Ministry for further processing. You can continue filling out the rest of the form." It will look like this. Just continue completing the form until the end. If you do not want to endure this process, you can just select "other" as noted in section i below.
e. If you are entering based on an Israeli MOH document (i.e., you are vaccinated or recovered in Israel), but you are NOT an Israeli citizen, please tick off that you are vaccinated/recovered outside of Israel. Yes, I know that this might not be accurate for you but there is a slight bug in the form. So if you were vaccinated or recovered in Israel, with an MOH document but are not an Israeli citizen, check off that you were vaccinated/recovered outside of Israel, type in your vaccinations in chronological order, and upload the MOH QR coded form.
f. Recovery EU or UK from the last 6 months: If you are entering Israel based on an EU or UK recovery from the last 6 months, type in your recovery and upload your digital recovery certificate.
g. The first important screen on the form is this one. You select the name of your vaccine and you enter in the date you were vaccinated (chronological order). There is a + sign for you to add subsequent vaccine dates.
h. The screen will instruct you to upload your vaccine records. It looks like this. Upload a PDF copy of your vaccination as noted above in section G. It must be a PDF and smaller than 1 MB. Use www.ilovepdf.com to compress the file if it is too big. When you upload a PDF, you might get an error message that says "sorry, unable to verify the certificate. If you filled out vaccination or recovery details, they will be forwarded to the Health Ministry for further processing. You can continue filling out the rest of the form. It will look like this.
i. Selecting "Other" on the health screen: This selection is mainly for those who are not vaccinated, not recovered, or if you do not want the technological hassle of uploading your vaccination record to the form. If you check this option, you will still get permission to board the plane and enter Israel. No need to upload any records if you chose "Other." You will not receive a green pass, but you don't need one in Israel anymore.
j. Insurance and contracting COVID in Israel: The bottom of the screen has two important boxes to check. This portion of the screen looks like this. One is an attestation that you have COVID insurance for your duration in Israel and you understand it is mandatory. The second box says "I am aware that if it transpires that I am a COVID-19 carrier, I will be required to isolation in a proper location or a managed facility, pay for the expenses of an ambulance and pay for the stay in the place of isolation." You must check the insurance box and the confirmation regarding COVID costs to you in Israel. It is highly unlikely that anyone will ask to see your medical insurance but you really must make sure you have it - if you get sick in Israel, you will pay those expenses out of pocket and will have to recover it from your policy. Regarding the isolation facility, please note that no one has been taken to a managed isolation facility in the last two months.
k. The bottom of the vaccination screen will ask you to confirm the declaration that all of the details are true at the time of signing.
l. You did it right if you get an approval on the last screen that says you are OK to board. You must receive the email confirming that you have done the form properly. That email is received immediately after you complete the form, it is from "do-not-reply-MOH," and the email subject is "Entry Statement." It will lead in Hebrew and is followed by English. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the email and you will see a PDF that looks like this. Notice that it says you are able to board the plane (highlighted in green). The incoming statement must be valid at the time of departure (not arrival in Israel). If you are vaccinated or recovered within Israeli protocol, you will also receive a green pass will also be received at the same time which looks like this. If you are not vaccinated within Israeli protocol (within 180 days), or not recovered within Israeli protocol, you will not receive a green pass, you will note receive a green pass but can board the flight anyway. Please see the Green Pass section regarding this issue. If you do not receive an email from MOH, and you are convinced you followed all of the instructions, try a different email address (like Gmail). Certain email domains (like SBCGlobal, AOL on occasion, and sometimes .net accounts) can be problematic, and some work domains block the MOH email, so make sure to check spam and if all else fails, change to Gmail.
m. Please know that one does not need a green pass in Israel anymore. It is only needed in special situations (i.e., to enter a nursing home or a large wedding hall that might require it or a health care facility).
n. Print every single document. Print the email that came as a result of the 48 hour form even though it is long (starts in Hebrew and ends in English). Print the incoming statement that looks like this. Print the tav yarok. Print everything. Every email and every attachment.
o. Bring your original vaccination records to the airport.
Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior Rules:
PCR or Rapid Antigen Testing In Israel:
Should you need PCR testing in Israel for whatever reason, you can find a comprehensive list at Corona Test Israel. Please note that rapid antigen tests are 15 minute tests as noted on the Corona Test Israel website. Simply sort by antigen and a list will come up.
Red Countries/High Risk: As January 9, 2022, there are no more red countries. To track the status of countries, click here.
Orange Countries: Any country that is not red is considered "orange." Nearly every country in the world is categorized by Israel as orange.
Rules can change. Forms can change. They have changed at least 7times since April 2021. And they change rules at the last minute.
Not next week or next month. So it's hard to answer questions on what might happen for Hanukkah or in January 2022 or Pesach 2022, so don't ask.
What is a first degree relative? Well no one defines it well enough, so here is the short and brutal answer. A first degree relative is someone you sit shiva for. Parents, children, and siblings and their spouses. In some cases, we have heard that half siblings and step-siblings who have secured permits. You have a better chance if you are a half-sibling than if you are a step sibling. The Ministry of Health will consider permit requests for grandparents of brides and grooms who are Israeli citizens. However, you will need birth certificates in order to prove the relationship from grandparent down to the grandchild.
First degree relatives can bring a spouse and children (under 18) but all applicants for a permit must be vaccinated or recovered, and each needs a separate permit request. For a period of time, Israel issued permits for children under 6 without a recovery certificate, allowing them to do a full quarantine period (10-14 days at the time). They have rescinded that policy and no foreign children can receive a permit without a vaccination or recovery letter, with the exception of a child under 1, who does not need a recovery letter, but must do full quarantine (7 days) and must have a specific permit.
Vaccinated (or recovered) parents of student visa holders can receive approval to enter Israel for the birth of a grandchild - within 30 days prior to the due date or within 30 days of the birth. The application must include all the regular documentation plus: Copies of both parents passports and visas, and the baby's birth certificate or a letter from a doctor with the due date. Please note that paternal grandparents have been rejected from receiving a permit but we suggest that you try anyway. Some seem to get through.
Foreign yeshiva student between the ages of 17-25 can be issued student visas for the upcoming (2021-2022) academic year if they are vaccinated or have proof of recovery with a previous positive PCR test. The institution must file an organized list of incoming students to the government and the list will be sent to Ben Gurion Airport to allow travel into Israel between July 25 and August 8, 2021. They will receive student visas only until December 2021 and the institution is responsible for extending the visa.
Student visa holders with an mֿ\ר or the word רבות on their visa can travel in and out of Israel without a permit, unless they are from a red country. If you are student visa holder but are in a banned/red country, you need to get to a "green" one for 14 days and apply for a permit from there.
Israelis living outside of Israel can now travel to Israel with their non-Israeli children without the need to register them as Israelis first. But the process of registering them as Israelis had to have been started. It is complicated and it is time consuming. Please see the post here and complete all the paperwork related to registration of children born to Israelis outside of Israel.
A reminder about children. Today, all foreign children (with the exception of those under 1) require evidence of a vaccination or a recovery letter. Children under 1 must do full quarantine (7 days). There was a time when children under 6 were allowed do enter and do quarantine. That is no longer the case.
For many months, Misrad Hapnim was not a centralized operation. Some took the application via email. Others could walk in. Nearly all found it maddening and stressful dealing with such a decentralized process. Today, Misrad Hapnim's Population and Immigration Authority has this online portal, accessible only from an Israeli IP address. To access it outside of Israel, create a VPN.
Misrad Hapnim Portal Tips:
A reminder about children. Today, all foreign children above the age of 1 require evidence of a vaccination or a recovery letter, the latter with specifics on the positive PCR, the negative PCR which demonstrate recovery. There was a time when children under 6 were allowed to enter and do quarantine. That is no longer the case. Children under 1 who receive a permit must do full quarantine (7 days).
Once you have your permit to travel to Israel, PRINT IT, along with all the other documents above. It is good to have it all. Before You Fly:
Countrywide PCR Testing: For those who need to do a day 7 PCR test, or otherwise want to test if they think they are ill, there are quite a number of places. Pikud Ha'Oref's list is here, their tests are free and can be done with a passport, but cannot be used for pre-flight travel. Please know that they have been known to take 48 hours to get results. Other options include Superpharm or Hatzala (see Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Beit Shemesh locations/times here). Another great option is this website, www.coronatestisrael.com, where you can search for other PCR options in your area.
Ben Gurion's PCR and Serological Testing: You cannot exit Ben Gurion Airport without doing PCR which are done by a company called TestNGo. It was once free and now it is not - for Israelis and foreigners alike. You can book and pay before you arrive in Israel for both the PCR and serological test. If you book the test online, it is 80 NIS. If you don't book in advance it is 100 NIS. Results of your PCR will be sent to the Ministry of Health but will also be emailed to you within 24 hours. If you don't receive it, go to the TestNGo website and download it.
Serological tests at the airport cost 127 NIS. Sometimes you can book it in advance, but if you can't, you can do it at the airport without any additional fee. If you do serological testing at the airport, it saves you a step later on. You receive immediate results, you take a photo of those results, and you receive an email as well. Serological testing is needed for a tav yarok, as noted more fully below.
Countrywide serological testing: If you chose to opt out of serological testing at the airport for whatever reason, there are other locations to do the testing.
Ministry of Health approved serological testing sites (in Hebrew) here and in English here. Some of the more popular ones are Assaf Harofeh which is not far from the airport, Assuta, and Ichilov but note that hours vary.
Hatzalah has locations in Jerusalem that are open 24/6 and on Fridays until 1:00 and after Shabbat; Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak, and every day 9-21:00 and Fridays until 1:00. See here for days/hours and locations in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Beit Shemesh. Hatzala will also come to your home for a higher fee, 600NIS before 11:00 PM and 1,000NIS after 11:00PM. Rambam Labs in Jerusalem, see here for hours, telephone and email, is often used for those who think they might be low on antibodies. Tenecare can meet you at or near the airport for 450NIS and will come to your home. RDN Medical makes house calls even on Fridays. Search for serological testing options in your region at www.coronatestisrael.com.
Please remember that all labs in Israel operate at a slower pace on Fridays, Shabbat and holidays and this might delay your serological results.
Prior Serological Testing: If you have done serological testing in Israel in the last six months, you can use those serological tests to be released from quarantine, but only under the circumstances noted above in the "minimal/early release quarantine" heading. If you are required to do 7 day quarantine, serological testing will not offer you the possibility of early release. Prior serological testing conducted in Israel within 6 months can be used for a green pass (see more fully section below on this issue).
Be responsible for your own tests: Make sure that all testing labs put your passport number on the serological results. Without the proper passport number on the serological paperwork, your release from quarantine can be a longer process. Always make sure that you get a copy of your own serological tests. Never rely on a lab to send your results to the Ministry of Health.
Contacting Ministry of Health: If you have not been released from quarantine when you think you should be, or you need to otherwise want to try and push them to move faster (somewhat of a wasted exercise), you can reach the Ministry of Health at *5400 from any Israeli phone.It can take 24-48 hours to receive a reply, not inclusive of Friday, Shabbat or holidays. You must wait for a written release (either SMS or email) from the Ministry of Health. Save this information as proof of your release.