Israel welcoming vaccinated tourist groups into the country in May

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Israel will start allowing tourists who are vaccinated against the coronavirus into the country next month. 

Earlier this week, the country announced that starting on May 23, Israel will allow tour groups who are all vaccinated to visit. 

Groups of tourists will be allowed into Israel first because they will be “easier to monitor,” according to a translated announcement from Israel’s health and tourism ministers. 

The country is expected to allow individual tourists who are vaccinated into the country as early as July, Travel and Leisure reported. 

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Tourists will still be required to take a PCR test before flying to Israel, as well as PCR and antibody tests when they arrive at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport — until officials develop a vaccine passport, which will eliminate the antibody tests, the announcement said.

Israel will start allowing vaccinated tourist groups to visit the country on May 23. Individual travelers who are fully vaccinated could be allowed to visit the country as early as July. (iStock)

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“We have been working to develop a plan that allows not only for the country to reopen to visitors, but also to ensure that everyone stays safe,” Eyal Carlin, Israel’s tourism commissioner to North America, told Travel and Leisure. “We have come so far, and it is for this reason we are adapting this proactive strategy of having a phased opening.”

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In January, Israel began requiring all travelers to the country over the age of 2 to get a negative PCR test within 72 hours of take-off, according to the U.S. Embassy in Israel. Travelers are also required to quarantine for 10 days with two tests, or 14 days without tests.

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Not only is Israel preparing to allow tourists into the country, it is also preparing to begin cruising again.

In March, Royal Caribbean announced that it would offer “fully vaccinated” cruises departing from Israel in May. 

The cruise line’s new ship, Odyssey of the Seas, will depart from Haifa for three to seven-night tours of the Greek Isles and Cyprus.

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