Israel Closes Borders: Foreign Nationals Are No Longer Able To Enter The Country. Book Your Flight Home Now!

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Photo Credit: Askii [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
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Update: Effective immediately, Israel’s borders are closed unless you are a citizen or year-round resident of the country.

Visitors can no longer enter even if they have a permit and a home for quarantine.

Expect nearly all international flights to and from Israel to be cancelled, so if you need to go to or from Israel, now may be your last chance.


The Times of Israel via Israel’s Channel 12 is reporting that Interior Minister Aryeh Deri will soon announce restrictions that will only allow people who live in Israel to enter the country.

Currently foreigners are allowed entry if they have a place to home quarantine for 2 weeks, but that will be repealed under these new regulations.

Previously, Israel gave a 3 day grace period to foreigners, but it’s unknown if this new regulation would also have a grace period, or if they would take effect right away with arriving foreigners sent on a plane right back home.

These new regulations would effectively end plans for any non-Israelis to spend Pesach in Israel.

It would also very likely mean the end of all international flights into Israel. If you need to get home, the time to do so is now.

You can discuss coronavirus and how it’s affecting your life on the dedicated COVID-19 board on DDF here.

HT: Moishebatchy

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87 Comments On "Israel Closes Borders: Foreign Nationals Are No Longer Able To Enter The Country. Book Your Flight Home Now!"

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Worried in Brooklyn

If my daughter has flight on sat night out of Tel Aviv with Turkish would that be canceled
I’m not sure how she can get home faster than that

Glushtygiz

Ur daughter is probably alot safer in the holy land right now with NY having figures of 20k infected and not under control

Eretz Yisroel

Eretz Yisroel is doing much better than every country with containing this situation, Your daughter is much safer staying there now if she has a place to stay, The Lubavitcher Rebbe said many times that Eretz Yisroel is the safest place.

Chaim

My daughter landing with Turkish in an hour and it’s a great airline. I can’t imagine they would cancel as they are anyway flying to tlv currently with mostly empty planes – vs the trip to Istanbul with packed planes.

sandra

united non stop is available Motzei Shabbos

YAAKOV

“It would also very likely mean the end of all international flights into Israel. If you need to get home, the time to do so is now.”

Will Israel ( particularly Elal) still fly out of israel?

looking for loophole

will anyone with Israeli passport be able to go after Pesach?
LIke yeshiva bachurim?

Yochai

Israeli citizens will always be allowed in

looking for loophole

but with 2-week quarantine and if direct flights are canceled there is no way to enter the country.
Is it worthwhile to purchase tickets now for yeshiva after Pesach? are the borders going to open by then?

Ergel

Do not expect that

Dan\'s the Man

It doesn’t hurt to buy a ticket if the plates cancel you’ll get your money back

Helen

The 14 day quarantine already effectively ended plans for non Israelis to spend Pesach in Israel. Who wants to be locked up for 2 weeks which is most likely the majority of people’s stay there?

Yakov

anyone coming to Israel from new york

Cr

What about student visas? And an appropriate home for quarantine ?

Dan\'s the Man

If all the flights are cancelled doesn’t matter even if you’re an Israeli citizen how are you going to get there?

Ben

How about Americans who want to leave and fly home?
Are the airlines canceling the scheduled flights for this week? Like United et all?

Mir

You think Friday March 20th 12:05 am TLV-SFO is too late?

looking for loophole

how long is this for?

Moshe

I have a flight for my son from Tel Aviv to Newark on 3/29 with United, booked through Hotwire. How do I go about trying to get an earlier flight? Help!

Elli

THANK YOU DAN FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK THROUGHOUT!
I have to cancel my LHR-TLV roundtrip flight.

Departure Thu, Mar 19 EL AL Israel Airlines 316 London (LHR) 2:20pm Terminal: 4 flight to Tel Aviv (TLV) 9:05pm

Return Wed, Mar 25 EL AL Israel Airlines 315 Tel Aviv (TLV) 9:05am Terminal: 3 flight to London (LHR) 12:35pm

Being that i am a foreign national can i now get refunded on these flights?
THANK YOU!

Berry

I guess Eretz Yisrael is not “our” homeland after all. It is only for Israelis not Jews from anywhere.

looking for loophole

under Israeli basic laws, every Jew is entitled to citizenship, so if you aren’t a citizen you can only blame yourself.

Truestory

Ertz Yisrael will ALWAYS be our homeland! The State of Israel is not…

BrooklynDan

This comment is not even worth a response.

lindnuck

Nothing has changed with regard to Jews being allowed to become Israelis.

Stuck in NY

Actually, currently no one can make the so called Aliyah process.
Facts matter

Robinc2345

Of course it’s our homeland but when you actually make aliyah and serve in the odd it definitely puts you in a different level!

Not Brain Dead

SHUT UP

J

Dan, the website says all Delta flights from Israel are canceled but my brother thinks his flight on Delta to PIT is still on. Do you know where you heard that all Delta flights from Israel were canceled?

yaakov feld

Hi do you think united will cancel sun night flight

Yeshiva

If I have a flight with united to Newark from Tlv am I safe?

shiframeir

my sister was denied this morning for today’s el al flight jfk-tlv. if u dont have an IL passport, you are not flying.

Rina

My son has tomorrow night on united direct from tel to newark .shld I send him now to airport to try and go standby???

homesick

I have a United flight TLV-EWR this motzei shabbos. It was originally booked with Austrian which got cancelled and I was put onto a United direct flight. United says they can’t touch the booking as it belongs to Austrian and Austrian only allows date changes within 3 days of the original date of booking. Any ideas how I can try to get out asap? TIA!!

joel

just booked my son on the 100am elal flight tonight in premium economy for $1600 rt [return in eceonomy[

Yossi

Where did you book it? I dont see this offer anywhere

kollel4life

My family and I are here on student visas, would this be applicable to us?

Shmoogrr

If you are in Israel already it is fine, they are just not letting anybody else in the country

cbsfan1908@yahoo.com

And I was only 4 weeks away from getting an Israeli passport. Will have to wait to return to my ancestral home now.

beh

Had a ticket on United end of next week, waited on hold for 1.5 hours for a rep, he switched the ticket for tonight’s flight – business class at no charge.

Yossi

What number did you call? Reps name?

beh

I don’t recall

beh

1-800-864-8331

yaakov feld

beh WHAT DID YOU TELL THEM whats your magic! I just waited on hold for 2 hours and they told me I would have to pay the difference!

beh

I told him I would like my son home today.

Cha

Does this apply to B2 Visa holders (3-year visa) who own a home in Israel?

yaakov feld

dan can you please give your opinion on all these above questions thanks

Yosel

What the best way to contact ELAL? my son has a ticket for April 12 TLV to JFK, wana change to today/tommorow
I have somewhere on the blog about a whatsapp number for ELAL
Thanks

Rina

Any new updates on when united will start suspending flights out of tel aviv..have a flight tom night to newark

Brosef

Dan,
Do you think a flight on Sunday to ewr will be canceled

Chaim

What’s the best way to contact Turkish Airlines? I have a flight for March 25th

Chaim

Seems like they commited to flying thru April 17 per their website. https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-us/announcements/coronavirus-outbreak/cancelled-flights/

Yeshiva

The rules could change at any moment. It has for other airlines that said they committed. Commiting doesn’t really mean anything if a new rule comes up.

td

For all of us who thought we’d just hop on a plane to get to Israel to be there to greet Moshiach…. maybe not…
I guess it is really true that those who live in Israel and those who were lucky enough to move there are going to be lucky.
We are living through an incredible time!

loveabargain

Moshiach reserved his donkey-

SHLOMO

I’m flying direct from Tel Aviv to Washington DC on Motzie Shabbos. Do you think I should try to get out earlier?

Worried

Is this official yet? I didn’t see it anywhere

Travels

“It would also very likely mean the end of all international flights into Israel.” until…?
“If you need to get home, the time to do so is now.” If you need to get home by when? We need to get back after Pesach. Is that in risk?

yosel

our son has a R/T ticket for April 12 TLV to JFK, April 27 JFK-TLV on EL AL, having a hard time changing to this Motzay Shabath. charging different in fare etc.
Should we buy him a One way on united for $750 on Motzay shabath?
and hope that ELAL will cancel that flight?
This ticket was issued by gotogate.com and i am on hold with them for 3:38 and still holding.

Ploni

There are seats on the TLV to Newark Flight for 3/19/20. Be smart and don’t overpay. Consider buying roundtrip or multi city to get a cheaper fare. Even if you don’t use the return, perhaps you can get a refund on that part if that leg is cancelled, further reducing the ticket price.
Some websites will show availability to LAX with a change of planes in EWR but won’t show the TLV EWR nonstop availability. If flying to another airport and you require a separate ticket within the US, consider first class as they include two pieces (at least on Delta) and at times can be less than coach with baggage purchase.
Latam nonstop to Brazil
Ethiopian thru Africa but it goes to Newark.
Time to think out of the box.

Eve

Dan, I landed in Israel this past Sunday, unfortunately I came for a parents Levaya. I’m in quarantine and thought to stay until after Pesach ( which was my original ticket) I have a flight back with Lot on April 20th. Is that a pipe dream? And very possible I will be in Israel indefinitely if I don’t leave now? Not sure if I can even leave in middle of quarantine

Shoshi

Return booked for 3/23…(previous flights cancelled) enough time to make home? Its the soonest the airline can schedule my return flight home. Also, are A5 visa holders permitted entry? Married to an Israeli. I also have State of Israel Entry Stamp (sticker) within my US passport.

Shoshi

I couldn’t reach anyone at the embassy, but my husband phoned immigration at the Tel Aviv airport. My credentials will allow me to return home. Trying to find a flight home prior to Shabbat…

Aryeh Sonnenberg

A friend who’s parents and family live in Israel was not allowed to fly from the US Wednesday night, as he is not an Israeli citizen nor full-time resident.

deb

Is there a way to actually get a refund for an ElAl flight JFK > TA (March 30) without a steep fee? Would a doctor’s note about high risk help? Booked with Chase points and a few $$.

Sarah

Still not clear to me. I don’t live full time in israel anymore but I have israel passport just renewed at Bern, as I stay a lot in Zurich. So how can israel be open to me if I don’t have a home there to quarantine, but only a hotel to go to? I had plans to be in Tel Aviv for mid May, but I guess now maybe not. But please stop saying I can fky as an Israeli passport holder, if I won’t be able to get through immigration without a home stay address, and no Airbnb’s are allowed.

Shoshi

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Jerusalem – March 19, 2020

Location: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

Event: The Israeli Ministry of Health confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.

Effective March 16, U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv suspended routine consular services. For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information. Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability. If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.

On March 18, the Government of Israel announced that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, who are not Israeli citizens or permanent residents will not be allowed to enter Israel. Exceptions may be made only for non-nationals whose lives are based in Israel. Such individuals who wish to travel to Israel should contact the consular department of the closest Israeli embassy or consulate for further information. We recommend travelers not board flights to Israel without a pre-clearance letter from the Israeli government as there is otherwise no assurance they will be admitted into the country.

On March 18, the Israeli Ministry of Health released updated guidelines regarding COVID-19 in Israel. These guidelines include closures of schools, commercial/dining establishments, heritage sites, and parks/beaches, as well as restrictions on movements, gatherings, and public transportation. For a full list of guidelines, please visit the Israeli Ministry of Health website: Israeli Ministry of Health website.

As of March 18, the Government of Israel announced the closure of its borders with Egypt and Jordan. The areas of the West Bank under Government of Israel control fall under the Israeli guidelines, above. The areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control fall under the Palestinian Authority guidelines, below.

The Palestinian Authority has confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The Palestinian Authority announced a state of emergency for 30 days, effective March 5, 2020. All tourist and religious sites have been closed, effective March 6, 2020. Educational institutions (schools, preschools, training centers, colleges, universities), churches, mosques, conference centers, sporting events, demonstrations, strikes, and large gatherings (possibly of 50 persons or more) have been suspended for 14 to 30 days, effective March 6, 2020. The Palestinian Authority has requested tourists cancel their hotel reservations in Bethlehem and surrounding suburbs.

Most checkpoints between Jerusalem and Bethlehem and Bethlehem’s surrounding suburbs in the West Bank have been closed until further notice. Additional checkpoints might be closed on short notice. If you are traveling from the West Bank to Ben Gurion airport for onward departure, you must appear at a checkpoint no earlier than six hours prior to your scheduled flight and present proof of travel. All travelers, including U.S. citizens, passing through any open checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank may be subject to increased scrutiny and significant delays. Land border crossings may be closed with little or no advance notice.

Beginning March 17 and until further notice, the Government of Jordan has suspended all inbound and outbound flights and closed land and sea borders to passenger traffic.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health announced that starting on March 16, 2020, all visitors entering areas of the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority’s control via the Allenby border crossing will be subject to a mandatory medical check at the border. Anyone suspected of being infected will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at the Ministry of Health facility in Jericho. All other visitors will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at home. Non-residents might be denied entry.

In Gaza, according to the de facto authority, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date. The Government of Israel has stated that dual Palestinian-foreign nationals living in Gaza will not be allowed out of Gaza via the Erez border crossing. The de facto authority in Gaza stated that travel in and out of Gaza will only be permitted for urgent humanitarian cases and that those coming into Gaza will be quarantined either at Rafah border quarantine area or at specified schools across Gaza for a period of 14 days.

Beginning on March 19 and until further notice, reports indicate the Government of Egypt suspended all international and domestic flights. There is a quarantine point in Gaza near the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Actions to Take:

· Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.

· For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.

· Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.

· Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.

· Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

· Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.

Assistance:
· U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser
Jerusalem 9378322, Israel
Phone: 02-630-4000
JersualemACS@state.gov

· Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon Street
Tel Aviv 6343229, Israel
Phone: 03-519-7575
TelAvivACS@state.gov
https://il.usembassy.gov

· State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

· Israel Country Information

· Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.

Deborah

My daughter is scheduled to fly home to NY on June 8 on El Al. Should I bring her home now or leave her in her seminary? She wants to stay and she has a place to stay. Will she be able to get home in June?

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