Life & Leisure

Israel reopens borders to vaccinated visitors for 1st time since March 2020

Jerusalem, Nov 1 (EFE).- Israeli authorities from Monday were allowing international travelers who have been vaccinated to enter the country for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

To enter the country, travelers must have received two doses of a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization, a booster shot within six months of arriving or one jab for those who recovered from the disease.

Tourists must also show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours from the flight, and must undergo another upon arrival as well as observe a one-day quarantine until the test results are out.

Those vaccinated with Sputnik must undergo a serological test to corroborate their level of antibodies.

Authorities hope to save the Christmas season, as thousands of people flock to Christ’s birthplace in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank every year.

Israel planned to open its borders in spring in the wake of an effective inoculating rollout, but it was postponed due to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

It became the world’s first country to drive a massive booster jab campaign on its way to control the fourth wave of infections.

This allowed the authorities to resume the plan to allow organized tour groups, mainly from the European Union and the United States in September.

Following the “successful” pilot strategy, the tourism ministry on Monday encouraged “tourists from all over the world to make their reservations and enjoy unique, varied and safe tourist products”.

However, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, thinks the move is not enough to boost an industry that accounts for 30 percent of the city’s economy.

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