COVID-19 in Israel: Green pass set to expire as unvaccinated tourists allowed entry

A total of 10,154 new daily coronavirus cases were recorded in Israel on Sunday and the number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded in Israel currently stands at 10,154.

 Health care worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a covid-19 drive through testing complex in Modi'in, February 1, 2022. (photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)
Health care worker takes swab samples from Israelis at a covid-19 drive through testing complex in Modi'in, February 1, 2022.
(photo credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

Unvaccinated tourists will be allowed to enter Israel starting from midnight on March 1 as the government prepares to remove most COVID-19 restrictions.

The requirement to perform a PCR test before departure to Israel will no longer be implemented for Israeli travelers, although they will still be required to take a PCR test upon arrival.

Noncitizens, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, will be allowed to enter Israel subject to a negative PCR test both prior to departure and upon arrival.

All those entering Israel, both citizens, and non-citizens, will still be required to fill out an incoming passenger declaration form during the 48-hour period ahead of departure to Israel.

In addition to the new travel rules, the Green Pass system that has been implemented in one form or another since March 2021 will no longer be operational, except for exceptional circumstances, such as entering a nursing home.

 Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing release a patient from the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on February 09, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Magen David Adom workers wearing protective clothing release a patient from the Coronavirus ward of Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on February 09, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Israeli citizens who have been inoculated with either three or four doses can renew their Green Passes starting March 1. They will be valid until either May 31 or six months from the date of their third or fourth vaccine, whichever is later.

For those with only two doses, the Green Pass can be renewed up until six months have passed since the date of the holder’s second vaccination.

For those who have recovered from the virus and who have been vaccinated with at least one dose, the Green Pass will be valid for six months after the date of recovery or last vaccination, or until May 31, whichever is later.

Addressing the public at the start of a Meretz Party faction meeting, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz thanked members of the healthcare sector for their work during the Omicron wave, attributing Israel’s ability to stay open during the wave to their hard work.

“We are on the way back to living a full regular routine,” he said. “We succeeded in moving past this wave without closing the country, and we left the panic of the last government behind and learned to live alongside COVID-19. And if another wave arrives, we will do it again.

“The health sector is the one that saved the economy and allowed things to remain open. They are the ones who allowed us to remain open, and for that, we extend our gratitude to them.”

A total of 10,154 new daily coronavirus cases were recorded on Sunday, almost double the previous day’s figure, the Health Ministry reported Monday. Fewer tests were carried out over the weekend.

On Sunday, 16.08% of the 66,915 PCR and antigen tests that were taken were positive, the ministry said. On Saturday, 36,106 tests were taken, it said.

The number of serious cases declined to 580, including 246 patients in critical condition, with 217 intubated and 22 connected to ECMO machines.

At last count, there were 10,154 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, including 26 over the past day.

Nearly 6.7 million Israelis have received one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, 6.1 million have received the second dose, 4.4 million have received the third dose, and about 726,900 have received the fourth dose, the Health Ministry said.