The country suspended the entry of international tourists in March 2020 to curb the spread of Covid-19
According to Israel’s Health Ministry director-general Professor Nachman Ash, most tourists who visit Israel will no longer need to apply for special permission to enter the country from as early as next month.
Ash said: “The intention is, by the start of November, to allow full entry to tourists who meet requirements for being fully vaccinated.”
In May this year, the country had started to permit small tour groups, but it again closed its borders in August due to the spread of the Covid-19 delta variant.
While the country has once again started to accept small tour groups of 20 to 30 visitors, Amir Halevi, director-general of Israel’s Tourism Ministry, said that the process of restarting tourism on a mass scale will remain a gradual one to ensure safety.
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When borders do open to vaccinated visitors, Israel is hoping to attract people from the UAE. The UAE and Israel signed a bilateral visa-waiver plan last year, but the initiative was delayed due to the pandemic. While thousands of tourists from Israel have already visited the UAE, Halevi expects incoming visitors from the UAE to grow significantly.
Halevi said: “We will see very strong growth year-after-year because we have a wonderful product… and the people in Israel are waiting to meet the people from the UAE.”
Halevi anticipates air travel capacity between the countries will increase in line with demand, adding: “The Israelis will continue to travel – they love shopping. The smaller flights will not be enough – they will need to have a bigger capacity.”