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Israel to begin allowing small groups of vaccinated tourists into the country

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Israel to begin allowing small groups of vaccinated tourists into the country

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Israel will begin to allow small groups of vaccinated tourists to enter the country today.

Under the new measures, licensed tour groups of five to 30 tourists will be allowed entry provided they show proof of vaccination in the last six months or proof of a booster shot. Additionally, visitors must provide a negative PCR test from within 72 hours of their trip and undergo a serological test upon arrival. Citizens of countries on Israel’s red list—which includes Bulgaria, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey—are still prohibited.

The move seeks to reinvigorate Israel’s tourist industry which was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While tourist revenue is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels—over $7 billion in 2019—following this move, expect a strong increase in airline and hotel sales. Despite optimism for the 80,000 Israelis working in the tourism industry, a reversal of this decision is likely. Israel is currently experiencing its highest infection rate since the beginning of the pandemic with over 104,000 new infections in the last 14 days. A similar plan to allow small tour groups into Israel was scrapped in June following an increase global and domestic cases. If current infection rates hold, this plan may also be scrapped.

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