Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg / Flash 90
Arriving in Israel at Ben-Gurion Airport. March 20, 2020

After a long, dry spell holding back Diaspora Jewry from visiting the Holy Land due to the risk of contagion from the novel coronavirus, Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority has made a few exceptions to its ban on foreigners.

Here are the updated exceptions, as reported by the Hebrew-language Makor Rishon newspaper:

  • Immediate family members, spouses, children and grandparents of an Israeli citizen / resident can enter to attend bar/bat mitzahs.
  • The foreign spouse-to-be of an Israeli citizen or permanent resident and his/her immediate (first-degree) family may also enter.
  • Parents of Israeli citizens expecting to give birth within a month – or who gave birth in the previous month – may also enter.

Everyone wishing to travel to Israel under these circumstances still must apply for a special permit at your local Israeli Consulate. (No stampeding allowed.)

As reported by Makor Rishon, those who wish to enter must show proof of medical insurance, including COVID-19 coverage, prior to boarding the plane or you will not be allowed on to the flight.

Those who come to Israel must commit to being in quarantine for a 14 day period in a suitable place and will not be allowed to leave the country before the end of that isolation period. (Yes it really is a great excuse to use at work …)

Please be aware the ban on foreigners is still slated to continue until August 1 and it is possible that it may be extended once again.

Then again, it could be simply canceled, and tourism may begin to blossom as before …


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.