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Israel Travel Report

Reuven Doron

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word do I hope” (Psalm 130:5)

The above prayer from the book of Psalms is one of the songs of ascents sung by pilgrims as they approached the Jerusalem Temple, ascended the ancient stone steps that many of you remember so well, and voiced their hope and trust in the God of Israel. We also make this our prayer today, as all of us in the travel industry navigate the challenging waters we are passing through.

The good news is that the incoming tourism Pilot Program has been extended indefinitely since there was no evidence in recent months that incoming groups caused any health risks to the population. This means that you are free to continue planning and reserving your groups with our team for the fall and winter season of 2021/2022, and beyond. FIT passengers will most probably be granted entrée starting in September (not finalized yet).

The process of submitting your groups for approval is as before, and we encourage you to contact our operators ASAP regarding the groups you are currently working on for the foreseeable future. The group entrance and arrival protocol is as follows:

  1. Submit your group for approval with our team ASAP in order to secure your position in the list of groups awaiting approval.
  2. Approval will be formally granted by the authorities 14 days prior to travel as the Israel Health Ministry monitors infection and morbidity rates continuously, and approves groups according to real-time data.
  3. Entrance is allowed from any nation that does not require a visa to enter Israel, for as long as that nation hasn’t been classified as a “RED NATION” at this link.
  4. All tourists in the group are required to be vaccinated by an FDA or EMA-approved vaccine, present a negative PCR test that was done within 72 hours before their arrival flight and fill an electronic health declaration, within 24 hours before arriving flight.
  5. Passengers within a homogeneous group can carry passports from different nations.
  6. Fast serological (finger prick) and PCR tests will soon start taking place at the Tel Aviv International Airport upon arrival, and the group will depart the airport and proceed immediately to their planned itinerary.
  7. Each arriving group is assigned an agent who will accompany its members throughout the entire arrival process from the moment they land until they board their bus and travel on.

As we move forward, we expect the process to be further simplified and streamlined, with FIT entrances estimated to start in September. Please contact our Sar-El operators with any questions in order to be sure that you have the needed information for submitting your group for approval. Also, remember that our team of experts conducts informative and inspirational zoom webinars designed to encourage and inform your target audiences and groups leaders. Contact us to learn more and to schedule your zoom webinar.

Looking forward to seeing you in Israel soon!

Your Sar-El team 

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