Israel to open to unvaccinated tourists from March

JERUSALEM, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Israel announced Sunday starting from March 1 it will open borders to all tourists, including the unvaccinated.

All tourists would be required to undergo two PCR tests, one prior to departure and the other after landing, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said in a joint statement.

For Israeli nationals, the requirement to take an antigen test before boarding the plane was canceled. Instead, only a PCR test upon arrival will be mandatory.

Passengers walk with their luggage as they arrive at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Feb. 13, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)

The unvaccinated Israelis will need no quarantine if with a negative result of a PCR test at the airport.

"We are seeing a steady decline in the morbidity data," Bennett said in the statement.

"At the moment, the situation in Israel is good," he noted, adding that this was "the result of correct and dynamic management."

Currently, only vaccinated tourists are allowed to enter the country.

Israel restricted the entry of foreign visitors in March 2020 and later eased the restrictions. As cases of the highly infectious Omicron variant were detected in late 2021, the country virtually closed its skies to foreign tourists.