EU countries to open up to Israeli tourists

Written by on May 6, 2021

The European Union has recommended its member states to lift traveling restrictions for Israeli tourists.

On Thursday, the EU Council updated the list of non-EU countries for which it suggests easing up restrictions to include Israel. The list among other includes Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.

The move comes three days after the European Commission presented to member states a proposal to revisit the general policy in the area of traveling in order to consider the vaccination situation both in terms of individual travelers and their country of residence as a whole.

The Council’s recommendation does not have a binding status for individual countries, whose governments ultimately remain responsible to manage their borders.

However, many countries are impatient to revive their tourism industries and Israel’s success in managing the pandemic combined to the eagerness of its citizens to travel have turned Israelis into great visitors to attract.

For this reason, some EU nations, including Greece and Cyprus, have already opened up their borders to Israeli tourists, allowing them to skip quarantine provided that they are vaccinated, have recovered or tested negative to the virus.

Italy is also set to readmit Israeli tourists starting from mid-May, when it is expected to open up its newly launched green pass system to foreign visitors.

In June, the EU is also set to launch a green pass system as well.

Israel is set to reopen its borders to tourists on May 23, but to allow in only vaccinated or recovered people.

At the moment, the only country whose health documents the government recognizes is Bahrein, but multiple government officials have told The Jerusalem Post that in the next few weeks more agreements are expected to follow suit.

Visitors coming from countries whose vaccination or recovery certificate are not recognized will be required to undertake a serological test to prove presence of antibodies in their blood after arriving in Israel, in addition to two PCRs tests, one before boarding the plane and one after landing.

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