Coronavirus Israel Travel Guidelines
Israel has strict coronavirus regulations in place, but it is still an amazing destination to visit. Make sure you are aware of the finer details before planning your trip.
Expect lengthy personal questioning and baggage searches at all border crossings. Questions may include what your plans are, who you’re traveling with, and if you belong to an organisation that has called for a boycott of the country.
In a move that could see Israel reopening to tourism after Yom Kippur, the country has said it will start accepting visits from organized groups of vaccinated tourists. Until now, only Israelis and those who had received a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine booster were allowed to enter.
If you’re planning on traveling to Israel in the near future, make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your planned departure date. Also, if you’re not an Israeli citizen, check with your embassy to see whether you require a visa.
You’ll still be required to take a PCR test both before and after your flight, as well as isolate yourself upon entering the country. The PCR test can be taken at a local health center, at a travel agency or through a home kit. The kit must be certified by a doctor or pharmacist. A list of approved PCR tests can be found on the Ministry of Health website.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel has opened its borders to all travellers (regardless of their vaccination status). However, regulations are complicated and can change with little notice. Please monitor the travel advice section of this website and talk to your tour operator for more information before booking your trip.
Entry requirements for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories are subject to ongoing changes and updates. The UK government has advised that those travelling to the region on full British passports from non-accredited countries should contact their nearest Israeli embassy or high commission for pre-approval. This includes dual nationals holding Iranian, Iraqi, Lebanese or Syrian citizenship.
When entering Israel, travellers will be given an entry card rather than a stamp in their passport. It’s important to keep this card with you, as you may need it when crossing into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In addition, it’s a good idea to carry photo identification at all times when in the OPTs and Gaza.
As a US passport holder you can travel to Israel for 90 days without a visa. However, you are required to keep a separate slip that is stamped at Israeli Passport Control (similar to an entry card) as proof of entry. This will serve as your ID while in Israel, and is required at many hotels and car hire companies.
You may be required to undergo security or health checks on arrival at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport. In some cases these will require a sample of your blood. Please ensure your passport has sufficient validity for your return journey – airlines will decline boarding to travellers with less than six months’ validity remaining.
As of 20 October 2022 the Government of Israel has introduced new requirements for foreign nationals entering and residing in West Bank and Gaza, including requiring two negative coronavirus tests, as well as restrictions at some ports of entry and exit. More information is available on the Government of Israel website.
Due to security concerns and ongoing armed conflict in the West Bank, Gaza and surrounding areas, travellers may face increased security screening at points of entry into Israel. This may include extensive questioning, physical searches and even denial of entry into Israel.
All travellers are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical evacuation coverage. Travellers are also encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and to follow the Department of State’s Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.
The best time to visit Israel is during the off season, between November and March. This is when the weather is moderate and prices are significantly lower. In any season, dress in light-weight clothing and remember that religious sites require long pants and sleeves for men and skirts or dresses for women. We recommend packing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion as the sun can be quite hot in summer. A small umbrella is a good idea as rain can sometimes come unexpectedly.