Israel Now Charging For COVID-19 PCRs For Travel, Ditches Outbound Health Forms; El Al Lounge Reopens

Photo Credit: Askii [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
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The ever changing rules when flying to or from Israel continue to change.

  • COVID-19 PCRs are required before your flight to Israel and again upon arrival into Israel. Israel has extended this requirement until at least June 29th. The tests upon arrival have been free, but will now cost NIS 80 in paid in advance when filling out the health declaration form or NIS 100 on the spot.
  • Israel will no longer require social distancing in the airport.
  • Israel will no longer require a health declaration form for outbound flights, but it will still be required for inbound flights.
  • COVID-19 PCRs are free from Israel’s Kupat Cholim, but those are no longer valid for travel when flying abroad. Here is a list of other options (Hebrew).
    • While those who have an Israeli COVID-19 vaccinated or recovered certificate don’t need an outbound PCR, kids will now need to pay for a PCR test and those flying to a country that requires a COVID test will now have to pay for a test.
    • The US accepts antigen or PCR tests for entry. As antigen tests aren’t easy to find in Israel, you may want to travel with these antigen tests.

In other news, El Al will reopen their King David Lounge in Tel Aviv tomorrow, though showers won’t be available yet. No word on when or if their JFK lounge will see the light of day again.

Israel reopens in June for organized group travel, though they still make it difficult for relatives to receive permission to visit immediate family in Israel. Will you try to visit the holy land this year or will you wait until restrictions have eased?

HT: tavster and yandmk, via DDF

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155 Comments On "Israel Now Charging For COVID-19 PCRs For Travel, Ditches Outbound Health Forms; El Al Lounge Reopens"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Antigen tests are of no use for Israel to USA because you need a PCR within 72 hours of your flight. Why do you suggest them for entry to the US if PCR already taken?

Hershey Weiser

What do I need to have to travel to Israel on July ?


How do report or show proof of an antigen test?


I had a ticket for this morning AA 1230am out of jfk. I tried through all the consulates but to no avail. Had to cancel at the last second. My parents live in Israel. No one to talk to… #typicalisrael

Ken Adams

We had planned a trip to Israel this year. The restrictions are too stringent for tourism, so we are going to Jordan. Wish we could go to Israel and spend money there, but this might be a 2022 event.


An American student that’s leaving Israel and has been vaccinated in Israel does NOT need a PCR test for their depart flight from Israel?

Morah A

I’m leaving June 27-everyone says it’s easier to have your relative in Israel go for your visa rather than do it through email..
Just email all the stuff to them-someone told me if you email the info and then nudge them to see what’s happening they put you on the bottom of the pile!!!


This is so complicated. In other words those who have antibodies what will they need to enter the US ?? would a PCR test be enough? Does the US require a negative covid test regardless? Sorry for the confusing questions I’m just so confused after reading thru the post several times


“COVID-19 PCRs are free from Israel’s Kupat Cholim, but those are no longer valid for travel when flying abroad.”

No longer needed when flying abroad ? Or no longer accepted by other states ?



General question:

A married couple currently in USA. Wife and kids are israelis but husband is not . Can the husband travel to Israel? Does the husband need to travel at same time as the wife ( israeli )?



Dan, can you please clarify: ‘While those who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 don’t need an outbound PCR’. Is that NO REQUIREMENT to satisfy the Israelis or to enter the USA is NOT needed as well. What does vaccinated mean, in Israel or USA as well? TY

Chanie Kestenbaum

I believe Dan is mistaken. PCR still required for those who didn’t get vaccinated or have covid in Israel.


i got a תו ירוק base on antibody results


Let me know when all this nonsense is over, till then I will be a jew locked out of the “jewish” state




Same here.

1st degree

Where is the best summary about what needs to be done to get in if you have a 1st degree relative? If you haven’t booked flight yet, what do you put on the application? Are you allowed to go straight to a hotel or will they not let you in until you have results of the antibody test?
Thank you


+1. Trying to find a simplified article of what you need to do.


Your application must have specific roundtrip flights booked along with proof of covid medical insurance covering those dates. There is no point in filling out all the other paperwork unless you have flights already.

Chanie Kestenbaum

Not correct. You no longer need flights booked


Thank you for the update, Chanie. There are so many details that keep changing but I don’t know how I missed that important one!


They never asked us for proof of travel insurance. We did not purchase it until after we got the ishur

1st degree

So you need to pay for the insurance even if you’re not going? Can it be cancelled if you don’t travel?


You can get travel medical insurance that doesn’t include insurance for flights, hotels etc and only includes medical situations. That is typically cancellable till the day or the day before you fly. Most other travel insurances give you a certain amount of days to look over the policy and if you cancel within that time frame they will give you your money back otherwise they won’t. Obviously if you fly within the look over period then it takes into effect either day or day before you travel (when get insurance best to ask to verify) and at that point it is non refundable. If you are only getting the insurance because of the requirement and don’t care about coverage, in most policies you can up your deductible so will make your policy cheaper (of course if you need to use it will have a high deductible). I am wondering if you can actually cover yourself if you make a $2500 deductible and use your reserve chase card which covers up to $2500, if that would work. Anyone know?


I just got back yesterday. I used, ~$25 for 10 days for me. They will give you a visa letter specifying coverage for Israel and COVID-19 as required. It’s easy and cheap enough and avoids any issues.


Someone of DDF posted a link for trav insurance, which our was quote was ~$30. We got the one that includes other stuff and paid ~$80. But it online. No big deal…


So you can only get an Ishur if your vaccinated, but you still need insurance that covers covid.
After vaccination It’s more probable to contract Measels then Covid

Pessy Miller

Hey, anyone know if as an Israeli I can travel to Israel tomorrow if I don’t have antibodies or vaccination?

Gail Rand

Yes, you just need a PCR test before you can board. You will then take another PCR test in the airport when you arrive and go into quarantine. If you have another negative PCR test on day 9 of quarantine, you can get out of quarantine on day 10, otherwise, you will need to do a full 14 day quarantine.


“COVID-19 PCRs are free from Israel’s Kupat Cholim, but those are no longer valid for travel when flying abroad”

What’s the source for this?


The Antigen tests may be shared by others when you purchase a box of 6?

What\'s good for the goose, is good for the Gander

I left Israel last night, May 30. Flew to JFK.
The check-in staff demanded English-language negative PCR tests for me to board the flight.

My wife had only the Hebrew-language one because it takes a day to get the English one, and she had not had enough time to get it.
They would not let her board the flight, even though the Hebrew one has the test results in English as well.
It just doesn’t have the name in English.
Anyway, they wouldn’t budge.
So I went to a corner and quickly forged one for her, screenshotted it and told them that I got it off the Kupat Cholim website.

They bought it and let her board.

The next step was that I’m American and she’s Canadian, so they said that she can’t go to America because Canadians can’t enter without a visa.
So I told them that I’m her husband and we always travel there. They said No, since Covid I need to prove that she’s my wife.
I need a marriage certificate.
We actually had a copy of our Israeli marriage certificate in my email, so they said that’s ok, but we also need a translated copy into English.

This at 3:30 a.m.
After a half hour of fighting with these nitwits, I managed to wake my daughter at home and she found our original American marriage certificate, emailed it to me and they let us board.

Of course in America they had no interest in any marriage certificates and simply waved us through as usual.

But be aware, if you’re a split Citizenship couple, you best bring your marriage certificate.

The fact that Israel manages to do anything right, like the Iron Dome, is a complete miracle.


If I already made a covid PCR test reservation after landing at TLV through check2fly, which was free at the time I made the appointment, will the airport or provider charge me 80-100 shekels anyway?


Does anyone know if an Israeli citizen has to quarantine upon return to Israel, if he was vaccinated in the US and has a negative PCR test?


We just traveled from and to Israel in the last 3 weeks (American family with visas), some points based on our experience
1. We filled out an outbound travel health form, but we’re never asked for it anywhere. (Seems like it hasn’t been necessary for a while.)
2. We uploaded the results from the Kupat cholim tests to United, and then were never asked to show it again. Not in Israel or in the USA. (so assuming that United will accept the negative Kupat test online I don’t know if it matters that officially you can’t use Kupat cholim tests, since no one ever asked for them again.
3. There was no social distancing at departure or arrival back in israel in Ben gurion airport.
4. No one checks up to see if your actually quarantined or not.

On a different note just to back you up Dan, it’s absolutely possible to get a recovery/vaccinated certificate in Israel based on a positive antibody test. I know of dozens of people who got them.


Correct. I got a certificate of recover and Tav Yarok based on my antibody test. I never had COVID, only vaccination


On the form, they ask for an Israeli cell number (you can’t put an American number), so I gave a relative’s number. On the morning that we arrived, the police called the relative’s cell phone looking for us, but we didn’t arrive till the afternoon, and they never called again (this was last week)


Were you required to quarantine for 14 days or you tested out with an antibody test. If you did not test out, was your trip shorter than the required quarantine period.


We have green passes but were never asked to show them, so I guess technically we’re supposed to quarantine. But like I wrote no one has checked up on us. We live in Israel so yes more then 2 weeks.


i am flying with a family of 6 from israel to jfk and we all tested positive for corona in israel 4 months ago besides for my 1 yr old daughter do we need to take any tests before we fly


US requires everyone to take PCR or antigen tests.


Where do you get them done in israel


Dan I E-mailed the application 6 days ago to visit a first degree relative. How long it takes to get the okay?
Can anyone here tell me how long it took them to receive the permission?

Ny consulate

Just took my parents 3 and half weeks with cvc/amudim help at the end.


I received an answer from the ny consulate after over 3 weeks but by that time I was already in Israel. I emailed it to Washington and they sent me the ishur after 3 days


What’s the Washington email?


where did you see that kupat cholom tests are no longer valid when flying?


Check comments and links above


after seeing all the comments here i wouldnt rely on the info here in any shape or form to travel as no one will let you in saying “but dans deals said it was OK!”


Very brief trip report – I just got back from Israel after being there for 10 days as an American on a first-degree relative ishur.

As soon as they opened up, in early April, I bought an airline ticket (as was required at the time) for May 20. I bought trip insurance from for around $25 for 10 days, and gathered all the necessary documentation as I understood it, and sent to my brother, who offered to go to the misrad hapnim in Ramle for me. We saw that there were quicker and more reliable approvals for people applying on behalf of their relatives than by emailing the consulate.

He went on April 12, was told he needed to have gone to Bet Shemesh. He went to Bet Shemesh, was told he was too late, come back tomorrow. He went back the next day and was told that they weren’t seeing walk-ins that day, just because. He then had to travel himself for a few days, but my mother went in the following Monday on my behalf (April 19). She was told that there was a new application form that I needed to fill out and sign, along with a passport photo, that my birth certificate needed apostille (this requirement was since removed) and in any case, I could not apply until two weeks before my trip. I sent my birth certificate off for apostille, not knowing it would not be needed in the end.

My brother and mother went together on May 6 with all relevant forms, (but no apostille, thankfully), including marriage licenses, name changes, birth certificates, copies of passports, airline tickets (also no longer needed), photo, insurance, vaccination card, passports, and came back with an ishur!

I ordered a test on arrival through check2fly which was still free, and ordered a home visit serology test from Hatzalah for 600 NIS (you can reach them on Whatsapp at (02) 622-0482). Of course, my American Airlines flight was cancelled due to the war and lucky me, I got a one-way refund for a paid business class ticket that just about covered last-minute coach on El AL Wed evening, May 19. But I was happy to have gotten a flight out; I got my COVID test here in the US through Walgreens, which came back the next day, and filled out the misrad habriyut entry form and I was on my way. Note that El Al asked for my vaccination card at check-in along with PCR results and my misrad habriyut approval.

In Israel, we landed around 2 PM, there was only one line at the time for all COVID tests at the airport. It moved quickly though, and by 2:30 I was on my way to get my rental car, and was at my mother’s in Bet Shemesh for bidud by 4. Hatzalah came as originally planned later at night since my original flight was supposed to land that evening. They showed up at 9:45 PM, and by 3:30 AM, I had an email from misrad habriyut that I was out of bidud.

I had a good and uneventful stay. I was only asked once for a tav yarok – in an IKEA cafe – and since my US vaccination provider (Atlantic Health) provides an electronic record, I was able to show it on my phone. They asked for ID and took a state driver’s license and agreed that the Atlantic Health “tav yarok” along with my drivers license was sufficient. I believe that as of today, this step is no longer required, so as a foreigner once you are exempted from quarantine, you have full access to anything in the country. I had no issue eating out, going to tourist sites, shopping and so on.

Upon departure, I took the check2fly test at the airport (drive-through) the night before I left and had the results the following morning. I did fill out the exit form, but no one ever asked for it. The airport simply wanted a negative PCR test to enter the terminal, and American Airlines allows you to upload all paperwork (test results and CDC attestation) via an app called Verifly, so only wanted to see their approval on my phone via the Verifly app and did not need any papers.

Good flight back in AA biz, nothing special at JFK, and I was out of the airport with my luggage less than 10 minutes after they opened the airplane door.


I have tickets for July 4 from NY to tlv and I’m fully vaccinated but my passport is expired and I can’t get a passport appointment for the life of me, anywhere! Emailed senators and representatives and got no response. Any ideas on what to do??


Must have PCR. Antigen not good enough at Ben gurion.

Daniel H

I flew about 1 month ago from TLV to EWR and used a Kupat Cholim PCR (with English) with no issues. Where did you see or hear that has changed?

Dan- you may also want to post about the fact that the US just changed their policy about flying on expired passports:


Fyi, I think this literally means you can “come home” to the U.S. You can’t use it to leave the country but I’m not sure how that works if you have an Israeli or other passport and not just U.S. one

Daniel H

I have both sets of passports and I’m trying to research that. The US’s announcement is specifically for entering the USA. I’m trying to find out if we can return to Israel with valid Israeli passports and expired US passports. They always ask for both sets of passports even when leaving the USA.

atara schwartz

Does anyone know how strict they are about quarantine? Do they still check neurotically?


I work with someone who flew last Tuesday to his brothers wedding in Israel, came back yesterday, and reported very few issues after doing all of the prerequisites. On the other hand, since I’m not fortunate enough to have relatives there, I’ll skip these posts and just wait till to fall to see what happens. (And then the winter. And then the spring?)


Does one travelling with israeli passports need to purchase insurance ?


Chaim v’chessed also states must have test within 72 hours of departing israel


Just posted in the Facebook group:

“This is wrong. You def need the negative PCR test – my dad came to LA to visit and delta wouldn’t have even let him board the flight without his negative PCR test”


ask your rav first but many rabbaim are ok with forging since “machusa ddina” is not necessarily applied to the Zionist democracy. my husband and son flew with photoshopped paperwork.


In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that the requirements keep changing and may seem unreasonable. They have to keep up with this kind of behavior, boasting about it, and encouraging others to do the same.


My husband and I plan on going to Israel in June to visit my husband’s brother. I sent all my forms and papers in to the consulate yesterday. I didn’t get any automated response or email received kind of response. Can someone who has done this just tell me if this is what happened to you? I just want to make sure everything was sent to the right place and received. Thank you!


Which consulate?




I didn’t receive any confirmation, the first I heard from them was the Ishur itself (3 days later)


Wow! That’s pretty fast! I hope I get mine that quickly!


dan, how did americans get a recovery certificate?
it seemed only avail to israelis. I was in israel and tested positive for antibodies and am going again. would love to get the pass and avoid more testing

First Degree Relative - SB

Assuming I received my permit as a first degree relative, showed proof that I recovered from Covid & have a PCR test to get on the flight to Tel Aviv + a place to quarantine once I arrive. Can someone clearly write the steps necessary of documents I need to provide at NY Airport:
Do I need to fill out a Entry Statement?
How I can test for antibodies – is there a place in the airport?
How do I find out I am out of “Bidud”?
Will I be getting a bracelet when I arrive?

When I am ready to leave Israel a week later:
What do I need to provide to go back on the flight to NY.
If someone can provide a clear breakdown of what to expect will be very helpful.

Thank you

Joe Shmo

Dan, what do the American authorities consider a recovery document that can work besides for a pcr test? Is an Israeli Ishur Machlim good?