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.
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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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