[Chaim V’Chessed Posts Updated Entry FAQ] A Reopening Israel Launches COVID Information Tourist Site, But Don’t Expect All The Information You Need

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Update: After I wrote this yesterday, Chaim V’Chessed decided to put out their own updated FAQ of Israel’s entry rules as they acknowledged the errors, broken links, and missing information on the official Israel site. I worked with them to add several of the common DansDeals reader questions to their FAQ, but if you have any other questions feel free to comment below for answers or get it added to the FAQ list!

It’s worth noting that I have heard from readers that have had no issues using the eMed telehealth COVID antigen test to enter and leave Israel and the US. I also heard from readers who had no problem checking into hotels while under quarantine by showing their Green Pass that they got when uploading their vaccination card to fly to Israel, along with their physical vaccination card.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Israel’s health declaration form isn’t timed to account for flights that depart a day before they arrive in Israel. If you just finished 15 days from your vaccination or booster (the day you are vaccinated counts as day 1), you may need to play with the dates as the rule is you can arrive into Israel 15 days from vaccination, but you are actually able to depart 14 days from vaccination, even though the health form isn’t programmed to recognize that.


Ever since countries started reopening from COVID lockdowns, I’ve been amazed at how difficult some make it to find the latest rules on entry. It took an absurd amount of time for me to figure out the rules to travel between countries within Southern Africa last October. There was much conflicting information about entering Zimbabwe by air and by land that the concierge at the hotel had to physically go to the border crossing to figure out what the rules for crossing were! Spoiler alter: Even the border agents were unsure about the official rules.

So I give Israel credit for making a COVID Information Tourist Site.

It comes after tourism in the country fell from 4.5M inbound tourists in 2019 to 832K in 2020 and 400K in 2021. Israel reopened to vaccinated tourists in November after a ~20 month shutdown, but closed down again due to Omicron, before reopening again last week.

The site is certainly a step in the right direction, though it’s still short on information. An FAQ section is notably missing.

  • The site says that you must present negative PCR test results taken 72 hours or less before your flight to Israel. This is fake news. Israel also accepts proctored antigen results taken up to 24 hours before your flight.
  • The site has a section about “If you have recovered” and talks about being allowed to enter Israel with a digital certificate of recovery, but fails to say in plain English that no such certificate exists in the US. Israel only recognizes a digital certificate from the EU, which is what the site should say.
  • The site offers no information about infants and children. While most countries allow unvaccinated children to enter with vaccinated parents, Israel does not. That means American children under 5 are persona non grata in the holy land as no vaccine exists for those under 5 and Israel doesn’t recognize American COVID recovery certificates. While the site offers no information about infants, if they’re under 12 months old they should be allowed into the country without a permit. However I have heard conflicting information about whether infants under 12 months need to go into quarantine for 7-10 days upon arrival.
  • The site says you have to purchase a PCR upon arrival and remain in quarantine for up to 24 hours after arrival, but offers no information about what happens if you test positive for COVID upon arrival. Do you get sent to a government hotel to quarantine if you don’t have a private home or if there are other people in the private home? Is it 7 or 10 days? Can you checkin to a hotel in the 24 hours if you present an American vaccine/recovered certificate?
  • The site says that a negative PCR is needed to leave if you destination country requires one. Would it be too much to ask for it to say that the US only requires an antigen test that can taken up to 1 day before the flight? You can even take the antigen test on your own.

The site is a good start, but hopefully it will get better. Then again, considering that Israel has effectively banned our kids from seeing their 1st cousins in Israel for nearly 2 years and counting, maybe I’m just asking for too much?

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101 Comments On "[Chaim V’Chessed Posts Updated Entry FAQ] A Reopening Israel Launches COVID Information Tourist Site, But Don’t Expect All The Information You Need"

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

Jake

We should have our askanim work on israel accepting recovery certificates or PCR’s perhaps with a doctors note.

1099

Why do you feel that “askanim” should work on your behalf? Is there a union to which you pay membership fees that have askanim/advocates working for them?
It’s always nice if askanim can accomplish for a klal, but they don’t owe us anything and we shouldn’t feel entitled and take their work for granted.

USA

Jake please stay in America
No country needs your advice
Thank you

Jake

America should not allow Israeli citizens into the country with a covid recovery, if israel does not recognize us recovery. Same goes for the EU for that matter.

Hank

What’s the best way to reach out to someone who can answer the question of why a person who was covid positive via pcr and/or who has had monoclonal ab’s and not allowed to take a covid booster for 90 days cause of those antibodies, still cannot get in from the US?

Chuchem

Anyone know the ***current*** (i.e. not the November ones as they have changed) rules about unvaccinated adults entry into Israel?

MaiaG

It does mention a proctored rapid antigen test as being accepted instead of a pcr test
DOCUMENTS
REQUIRED UPON
ENTRY TO ISRAEL
MAKE SURE TO PREPARE THE
FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION AHEAD
OF YOUR DEPARTURE TO ISRAEL.
PRE- FLIGHT (OR PRIOR DEPARTURE) TAKE A PCR TEST IN THE 72 HOURS BEFORE THE FLIGHT TO ISRAEL, ALTERNATELY, YOU CAN TAKE A RAPID ANTIGEN TEST IN THE 24 HOURS BEFORE THE FLIGHT,
BY PROFESSIONAL

MaiaG

Dan,
Maybe other things have been updated since you wrote this post? Maybe we just see things differently.
I dont think this part about recovered people is confusing. They don’t have to mention the US specifically, there may be other countries like this so they list the rules clearly
“Recovered people can enter Israel, provided they carry a digital certificate of recovery that can be digitally verified by the Israeli Ministry of Health, based on a positive result in a NAAT test (PCR and similar molecular tests):”
So, if you don’t have a certificate this doesn’t apply to you.
But they also say
“If you do not comply with the above criteria, despite being vaccinated or recovered you will need to submit an application to the Exceptions Committee for a clearance for exceptional entry to Israel.”
There are still a lot of rules, but I think this is a pretty clear site.
I don’t feel that they should have to keep mentioning US rules like for PCR tests. Then they would have to keep track of the US and other countries rules which can change at any time.

me

I agree with this. There are other places than the US lol. But they could make it more clear that not everyone has these digital certificates. ie, “If your country issues digital etc”

Sruli

Honestly must visitors to Israel come from the United States so they need to be a little more clear about their rules

Yair

Do they require booster shots?

me

They require your most recent shot to be within the last 6 months AND at least 14 days after you got it. So whether or not you need a “booster” depends when you got your second.

JR

This is great news! I’m going to book for the summer in hopes 3rd time is the charm.

me

re: point 1, looks like they did update that to include the antigen for arrival.
There is also a link to apply for an ishur for “exceptional circumstances”
although oops seems they forgot to put anything at the link, it’s a 404 🙁
But on the whole, this site is very clear and easy to read and process through.

Canadian

Can some of the isrealies among us guide on where a Covid test can be made before returning home? The posted site says only in the major hospitals , is that the reality? Also , when traveling home on motza shabos, are tests/results available on time?

Aryeh Sonnenberg

Hi, this site list nearly 200 authorized testing locations in Israel for flying both PCR and Antigen. There are many more places that will come to you (at a nice fee).

https://www.coronatestisrael.com/pcr-testing.html

Israeli

You can do a pcr test that is valid for travel, in Superpharm, Be Pharm, Hatzalah, and some other places. The two pharms are the least expensive. Regarding the turn around time, it is probably dependent on the amount of tests being done and if there is a backlog. Safe travels.

Bob

There’s Hatzalah for 250 shek, and the company that does by the airport and other locations for 125 for quick results or 75 for slower results.

j

i beleive that United Hatzalah does this for a fee at their HQ on Yirmiyahu Street in Yerushalayim both PCR and antigen

Bob

Aidgenomincs in har hotzvim and givat shaul (many locations nation wide) is the cheapest 99 shekel. 10 hour results. Many other options available. Be pharmacy ichud hatzalah to name some

Su Lo

So to clarify, the Abbott’s BinaxNOW supervised home tests would be acceptable to enter Israel?

AnotherOHIOyid

Thank you Dan. I am planning to go next week and his been very confusing trying to figure out what is and what is not required.
And yes and I extremely sad that my 12 year old son cannot join me to attend his first cousins wedding. Honestly this whole thing makes no sense. If Israel opened the border because Omicron was so rampant there why require anything at all? Why should care if anyone is recovered, vaccinated or for that matter sick with Covid when after all the whole country is already sick.
Finally, what do you think of this idea for recovered people from the US ?
The only solution I can think of is to have a tele-health appointment with a Dr in Switzerland, Belgium etc and have the enter you into the digital system based on seeing your PCR. I am not suggesting doing something unethical, after all they will only enter you in the system after verifying your PCR is legit. Hey everyone is doing tele health appointments these days so why can’t it be with a Dr in Europe?
The problem with this is that there is
no way to know if Israel will let you in with that, especially because your passport shows no travel to those other countries. Will they be okay with “I had a tele health appointment with my doctor in Switzerland”?

eli

Dan, do you understand what the Israel site means when it says, Those who received three doses are eligible for a green pass which is valid for no more than 6 months from the last vaccination day or through 28.2.2022, whichever is latest. I land on march 1, so i need a 4th shot?

Melech

When will everyone realize that Israel is a 3rd world country run by Jewish arabs?

yelped

Ok….

Now what?

Melech

Don’t think that you can rationalize with anyone/thing here… whoever is in charge will decide what to do regardless of rules/laws

Julianne Sobel

My PCR test was negative in Los Angeles and Positive when I landed in Ben Gurion airport. I was put into quarantine and am required to present a recovered/release certificate from an Israeli organization called Bikur Rofe. No one has said anything about an American organization that provides such a certificate that the Ministry of Health will accept. Meanwhile, I have emailed Bikur Rofe and am waiting for them to contact me, in Hebrew, on an Israeli phone.

AnotherOHIOyid

Sorry to hear. This is why I am so nervous to come to Israel next week, if I test positive upon arrival I will miss the wedding that I coming for and if I test positive upon departure I will miss another week of work. The whole thing is ridiculous. How long are you required to quarantine, 7 days? Is anyone actually checking to see that you do not leave quarantine?

G Scott Sobel

My wife & I are sitting in our Efrat ABnB apartment, enjoying our visit – somewhat. We arrived 8 days ago on a new grandparents’ exception – mazal tov! At the airport, I tested neg, Wife positive. Min of Health called her, ordered 10 days bidud/isolation & cleared me (although living with her)… Bidud changed to 7 days. Now MOH doesn’t know how to get her out. Can’t go see a doc! Some have suggested a private MD can do a phone interview & write her a “letter of recovery” ($150) for MOH. We’ve heard they SOMETIMES accept it. We found the MD & I’m going to him to pay & pick up the letter. … Good luck to us!

Isaac

“The site says that a negative PCR is needed to leave if you destination country requires one. Would it be too much to ask for it to say that the US only requires an antigen test that can taken up to 1 day before the flight? You can even take the antigen test on your own.“

Last time we were in Israel, in April of last year, you couldn’t even enter the airport without a negative PCR test. Has that changed?

Izzy

So bottom line before leaving Israel can I take my own test?

CSB

Can anyone help me figure out what to do for my 15 year old? From the site it sounds like they fall under the 180days from second vax, since we were booked to go during the second lock down after pushing it off since lag beomer of last year our 180 days expired a few days ago, my wife and I can get the booster but chemed said there’s no booster under 18? How does that work?

Josh

You wrote: “If you just finished 15 days from your vaccination or booster (the day you are vaccinated counts as day 1), you may need to play with the dates…”

This will be the case for my kids when we fly next week. What do you mean by “play with the dates”?

Od

still confused I can take rapid antigen test both to enter Israle and the US if taken within 24hr of departure but it cant be a home test?

moshe

thanks for this very helpful! i know you mentioned there is no talk about children under 12 in article but was wondering if you knew what the rule is for american kids ages 2-12. can they get in? if yes how?

me

Only if double vaxxed within 6 months. Since not yet available for ages 1-5, they can’t go at all.
(if not Israeli)

Ari

Dan – is this new that you need to enter the 15th day? I have flights taking off and landing 1/19 and my daughter’s booster is 1/5. Is this going to be a problem?

Jack

so in plain english , if one has a digital recovery certificate (from the EU) one does not need any Vaccination ?

moish

If my 2nd dose of Phizer will expire 3 days after I land in israel will they give me a problem entering the country without a booster

Chia

Don’t understand why they wouldn’t allow proof of recovery via positive antibody tests in Israel. They should trust their own testing and could require quarantine until results come through…

MM

During the 24 hours of quarantine upon arrival does the hotel make sure you don’t leave? Can you go to a store to get food?

NYC

Anyone know when arriving now into JFK from TLV is it required to take COVID test in airport?

RIshty

How long does it generally take to get the COVID results when u land in the airport?

josh

Does anyone have experience trying to enter with children under 5 yrs old? I heard a rumor that those not eligible for the vaccine are allowed to enter.

Shvigger

If my spouse is Israeli (but we currently live in Israel) will I b able to get special permission to go? I know this past pesach they were giving permission.

me

Go where?

L

got a pcr but they wouldn’t put the passport number on it. will that actually be a problem

Ohev Yisroel

Does anyone know what needs to be done (or if we will have a problem) to bring a 17 months old to Israel next week? All I’m seeing is less than a year old is ok (and under 12 with a parent with student visa). Any information would be appreciated

Iti

Does a foreign national fully vaccinated even with booster shot need any documents from the Israeli embassy in the USA to enter Israel or just a negative PCR test 72 hours before and health minister form 24 hours before? I read it says you need a document from your local Israeli embassy but what would that be if you already have all the above? Anyone knows?

josh

anyone able to advise me as i took both Pfitzer vaccine @ a NYS run site and unfortunately lost my vaccine card is there anyway i can travel to Israel??

MaiaG

If both vaccines were in New York State you should be able to get the digital Excelsior Pass

C

If there is a 8 month gap btw first and second Pfizer vaccine can I enter Israel ona student visa.

me

I havent seen anything about time between 1st and 2nd doses. Just that it not be more than 6 months from your last one.

Freecountry

You wrote children under one must quarantine for 7-10 days, chaim v chesed says 7-14 days

mendel

what happens if you test positive, but have a lab report of having tested positve 3 weeks before?

Melech

Interestingly enough, CVC claims that recovered any time with 1 shot any time is good for travel! (i.e. doesn’t have to be within 6 months) I double checked with them. This is the lashon of the misrad habriut they should be gebentched: Those who have recovered and have received only one vaccine dose before or after recovery, and six months have passed since the issuance of their last certificate of recovery, are eligible for a Green Pass valid through 31.3.2022. I was not zoche to understand oimek kavanasam… it sounds like you are only eligible if its more than 6 months from recovery?

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