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 …