Israel will begin welcoming foreign tour groups from select destinations starting 19 September, under a new pilot tourist restart programme.
These groups of between five and 30 travellers must come from destinations on Israel's green, yellow and orange lists, and show evidence of being fully vaccinated: a second dose within the last six months, or a booster shot. Approved vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, Johnson and Johnson.
Currently, nine destinations fall under the yellow list (low risk) including Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong and China. APAC destinations in the orange list (at risk) include Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines.
Travellers are required to present a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival, and take a serological test at Ben Gurion Airport after landing in Tel Aviv. Tourists must be in quarantine for at least 24 hours, or until a negative serological result is out.
Under this reopening, the government announced on 5 September that there'll be no cap on the number of tour groups allowed entry, although this does not apply to destinations on the red list: Bulgaria, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey.
Boasting one of the highest vaccinated rates globally since Q1 this year, Israel had welcomed its first small group of under 30 pax earlier this May, under a pilot programme until 15 June. Just like the latest pilot, travellers had to show negative PCR tests before flight, and another test at Ben Gurion Airport after landing in Tel Aviv.
Out of Israel's population of 9.3 million, six million has been vaccinated as of 4 September, and the government is currently offering a booster shot to the already double-dosed elderly and vulnerable.