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ISRAEL REOPENING FOR INDIVIDUAL TOURISTS 1 NOVEMBER – UPDATED JANUARY 2022 + what to visit on your trip!

Me in the city of Tel Aviv
Me in the city of Jerusalem

To all the Jewish people out there, to all the religious, the wonderers, the Middle Eastern lovers, and to those who LOVE ISRAEL NO MATTER WHAT.

Here it comes the GOOD NEWS!

ISRAEL IS REOPENING ITS BORDERS TO ALL INDIVIDUAL TOURISTS FROM 1ST NOVEMBER!  

Wait, this is a post published by 4th January… why, if the Borders of Israel already opened 2 months ago? Well, because as of 28th November they were shut again due to the arrival of a new Covid-19 variant, known as of: ‘Omacron’. Oh, no thats the French President name, ‘Omicron’ is how they decided to call it. Whatsoever the borders were shut since then until next 9th January, when the State of Israel has announced a new reopening (2nd one) will take place.

This new reopening is coming with few rules’ changes I will like to highlight in this post.

New Rules to enter Israel (UPDATED JANUARY 2022)

1)TO BE FULLY VACCINATED (MAX. 6 MONTHS SINCE THE LAST SHOT) OR RECOVERED FROM COVID-19.

To fully vaccinated travellers with 2 doses of the Israel’s recognised vaccines: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, or one dose of Jansen. (maximum with a period of 6 months since the last shot, or with a booster or third dose). 

That means that if you got your last shot of the vaccine more than 6 months ago and didn’t get a booster, you’re basically not eligible to enter the country. Kids under 12 years that cannot vaccinate, are also NOT allowed to enter the country, so families with kids are also not eligible to enter Israel.

You must have to had your last dose at least between 7-14 days before reaching Israel, depending in which vaccine did you take.

And if this was still not enough of a requirement…

2) PCR TESTS PRIOR TO LANDING AND ONCE YOU LAND IN ISRAEL, are also COMPULSORY. 

PCR PRIOR TO ENTRY, must be taken maximum 72h before departing. No need to say that if your result turns out positive you’re not eligible to enter. Which will be quite contradictory, because you are supposed to be protected with the vaccine, but you know, this current period is filled with things that make no sense. We’re getting used to it.

ONCE YOU ENTER in Israel, at the same Airport, you need to take ANOTHER PCR, I assume just in case the PCR of your country got a false negative and you’re actually positive, because that’s the reason you got the vaccine: to get infected. (sarcasm). Anyway, that is supposed to cost maximum 100 shekels, which equals around 30€. You are also supposed to pay it in cash, so you need to land with the local currency in cash on your pockets. And you will have to self-quarantine for 24h period until you get your results.

3) To be a national from a country that is not in Israel’s red list. Current countries that are in Israel’s red list are: Ethiopia, Mexico, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, the UAE, UK, U.S. (actually the only countries that may be interested to visit the Holy Land but…this is not a surprising fact coming from Israel). Nationals from the rest of the countries are okay to enter, well not from Israel’s enemy countries and so on.

Friendly reminder to pre-corona rules of Entry still applying

3) Entry to Israel is forbidden to all people holding a passport from an enemy country of Israel. 

4) Entry to Israel for tourists is NOT ALLOWED BY LAND. The only Israel bordering countries to which Israel has peace agreements are: Jordan and Egypt, though this peace agreements do not imply really close or good bilateral relationships between these particular countries and Israel. In this current moment, the land borders in between Israel & Egypt and Israel&Jordan don’t allow entry of tourists. 

The Sinai Peninsula border in between Israel & Egypt opened last March 2021, but it only allows the crossing for Israelis from Israel to the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, and from that part of Egypt back to Israel.

This ban of entry Israel by Land as a tourist, implies the following: let’s say you are enjoying your holiday in Sharm el Sheikh (South Sinai, Egypt) as I did last April-May (but I was not only on holiday) but let’s say you’re they just to relax. You have Israel just 2h by car, but still YOU CANNOT CROSS THE BORDER FROM EGYPT TO ISRAEL. Got it?

If you happen to be in Petra or Amman (Jordan) visiting and want to directly entry Israel from land Jordanian territory, you can not do it either.

5) The prior rule implies that tourists can only REACH ISRAEL BY AIR. I mean, by the Airport, because by Land there’s tensions, habibi! 

Highly important recommendation

6) This is not a specific rule, though since the beginning of the State of Israel, entering Israel with Arab Enemy States’ stamps in your Passport, is highly disregarded (don’t do it). So if you happen to have visited an Israel enemy country like Iran in the past, and you still hold the stamp on your passport: rather you ask for a new passport or you better not visit Israel.

Entry to Israel as a tourist (not to say to settle as a non-Jew) is not easy...

The GOOD NEWS ARE that in despite of all these tough requirements to be able to enter,  is that if you do your homework (because if you don’t Israel won’t only ban you from enter but also forbide you to reach the country for at least 5 years…) you can FINALLY REACH THE HOLY LAND. 

Before the Pandemic, reaching Israel was very tough, the rules of entry and stay as a tourist (yes as a tourist, because until today, according to Israel legislation unless you’re Jew you cannot hold any other condition in the country than tourist. Because there’s no Jurisdiction that regulates a procedure of emigratin to Israel for non-Jews) Imagine if we add on top of that, the pandemic. 

Israel as whole, and as a non-Jew turns to be one of the biggest world’s challenges. But as Theodor Herzl (the father of the modern Zionism, philosophical current of thinking that advocate for a State for the Jewish people) used to say: ‘Where there’s a dream, there’s a way!

Still, I highly recommend you to visit Israel anyway...

II really ENCOURAGE YOU, to VISIT ISRAEL. It’s not EASY. Neither to enter, neither the situation of the country, but I can ASSURE YOU ONE THING: ISRAEL WILL CONQUER YOUR HEART AS ANY OTHER LAND OF THE WORLD WILL EVER DO.

Israel, is not just another average country, no way… ISRAEL IS THE HOLY LAND, and trust me, you won’t need to be religious prior to landing to Israel, to easily UNDERSTAND WHY. Your soul will feel the power of that land deep inside. Life in ISRAEL, was MORE PURPOSE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE. If you don’t feel LIFE FULFILMENT IN ISRAEL, then you won’t find it anywhere.

Visit places like Tel Aviv, Eilat or Hebron!

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