Update, 4/21: DDF member Solma and Amudim report that Israel has dropped the onerous requirement for an Apostille certified documents for most applications. Going forward, only a foreign spouse of an Israeli citizen and parents of an Israeli minor child need an Apostille.
Update, 4/8: The Israeli consulate in NY confirmed with me that my interpretation of the rules is correct, there is no need for a special occasion if a recovered or vaccinated foreign national wants to visit a first degree relative in Israel.
Additionally, they confirmed that proof of recovery requires a positive COVID PCR followed by a negative COVID PCR. If you don’t have that, you will need proof of vaccination to enter Israel.
Note that hotels and many restaurants in Israel require a Green Passport. Several non-Israeli commenters report below that they were able to apply for and receive a green passport after testing positive on a COVID antibody test in Israel.
Originally posted on 4/6:
Israel is finally beginning their reopening process for foreign nationals with changes that go into effect 7am tomorrow.
The country will now allow select people who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID to apply for permission to enter the country through their local Israeli consulate.
Vaccinated or recovered foreign nationals can apply for entry permission if they have a first degree relative (child, parent, or sibling) who is a citizen or permanent resident in Israel. Proof of full vaccination or proof of recovery with a positive followed by a negative COVID PCR is required. An apostille seal for proof of the relationship is also required. If you have a first degree relative, you can also bring your spouse and children with you to Israel. However, everyone except for infants up to 1 must have proof of COVID recovery or vaccination. That means if your kids between 1-15 years old haven’t had COVID, they can’t go to Israel under this exemption for foreign nationals.
You must remain in quarantine until you test positive on an antibody test in Israel. You may need to wear an electronic monitoring bracelets while in quarantine. Antibody test results are typically promised in 1-2 days, though several DDF members say that Shamir gave them same day results. Expect a test to cost about $50. After that you need to apply online for a cancellation of your quarantine. The official cancellation document can take another day via email, but you should get a notice of cancellation sooner via SMS if you have an Israeli phone number that can accept SMS. Once you get the SMS or email you are free to leave quarantine.
You can check your antibody titer level in the US on Labcorp test 164090, which checks for both natural and vaccinated immunity to COVID. You’ll need a prescription from a Doctor to take this test. My insurance covered this test in full without it going to my deductible.
Others who are unvaccinated and not recovered that can apply for permission to enter Israel and go into 10-14 day quarantine include:
- Foreign nationals married to an Israeli citizen or permanent resident and their minor children.
- Students through their learning institution.
- Experts through their employer
- Artists, cultural figures, and athletes through their inviting body
- Volunteers in the field of welfare or agriculture through their inviting body
- Life saving medical tourism
- Parents of a bride or groom living and getting married in Israel (other first degree relatives must be vaccinated or recovered)
- Funerals for first degree relatives for 24 hours only
- National-Civil Service volunteers and first degree relatives
- Lone soldier visitations by first degree relatives
- Businesspeople who are vaccinated or recovered and need to attend meetings in Israel need a special permit from the ministry of economy to apply. If unvaccinated/unrecovered permission from the ministry of health is also required.
- Agriculture and construction workers
- Clergy with a recommendation of the Branch of Religious Groups and ministry of health.
- Foreign journalists
- Nursing home workers (vaccination required upon entry).
Note that everyone will need to provide:
- A negative PCR test from within 72 hours of your flight departure time. An additional test will be performed upon landing in Israel.
- Travel health insurance that covers COVID.
It’s also worth noting that if you leave quarantine early to fly home, you won’t be allowed back into Israel.
Hopefully if all goes well, the next steps will be Israel allowing anyone who is vaccinated or recovered to enter Israel and allowing everyone to get a green passport!
Do you qualify to enter Israel under the new rules? #LetMyPeopleGo