JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israel will begin allowing entry to all tourists, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, from March 1, a statement from the prime minister’s office said on Sunday.
Entry into Israel will still require two PCR tests, one before flying in and one upon landing in Israel, the statement said.
Currently only COVID-19 vaccinated foreigners are allowed into Israel.
“We are seeing a consistent decline in morbidity numbers, so this is the time to gradually open up what we were the first in the world to close,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
Israel first shut its borders to foreigners in March 2020. The number of visitors has slowly risen as the country lifted some restrictions, but they remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
Some 46,000 tourists entered Israel last month, up from 7,800 a year earlier but way lower than the 333,000 that visited in January 2020.
“At the same time, we will keep a finger on the pulse, and in case of a new variant we will react quickly,” Bennett said.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Steven Scheer; Editing by Jan Harvey)