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Israel ends COVID tests for international arrivals as pandemic continues to recede

In another milestone, masking requirements on international flights will also largely end starting Monday

Travelers at Ben Gurion International Airport, on June 30, 2021, heading for COVID-19 tests. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Travelers at Ben Gurion International Airport, on June 30, 2021, heading for COVID-19 tests. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Israel on Saturday ended the requirement for COVID-19 testing upon landing at Ben Gurion Airport, over two years after the onset of the pandemic, as the country continues to remove remaining limitations on the public in line with the pandemic’s decline.

Israeli and foreign travelers will also no longer be required to provide a negative test result prior to boarding a flight to Israel.

The rules were updated due to declining COVID-19 morbidity, the Health Ministry said, adding that they will apply at all air, land and sea crossings.

Travelers will still be required to fill out a health declaration form within 48 hours prior to their arrival by air or sea.

Until today, anyone landing at Ben Gurion Airport had to take a test, which travelers would pay for themselves. After testing, arrivals would quarantine for 24 hours or until they got the test results, whichever came first.

Starting Monday, face masks will no longer be required on most international flights. Fights to certain destinations could still require face masks, depending on other international regulations.

A woman wears a face mask on a flight from Ben Gurion International Airport to Rome on February 21, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Israel’s requirement for facemasks in most indoor spaces ended in April.

Leading epidemiologist Prof. Michael Edelstein told The Times of Israel this week that Israel is enjoying a period of calm and is “in a stable situation,” but warned against complacency, saying new variants and spikes in morbidity could still occur.

As of Friday, the number of active COVID cases in the country stood at 16,160, with 89 people in serious condition. This week saw the number of serious COVID cases in Israel drop below 100 for the first time in months.

The death toll since the start of the pandemic stood at 10,827.

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