search

Israel to scrap mandatory airport COVID testing on May 20

Also, starting Tuesday, noncitizens will be allowed to take an antigen test instead of a PCR before boarding incoming flight, as remaining virus regulations are further scaled back

Medical technicians test passengers for COVID-19 at Ben Gurion International Airport, on March 8, 2021. (Flash90)
Medical technicians test passengers for COVID-19 at Ben Gurion International Airport, on March 8, 2021. (Flash90)

Travelers who enter Israel will no longer need to undergo mandatory virus testing at the airport starting May 20, the Health Ministry announced Sunday.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said in a statement that the system would remain in place, “and we will be able to reactivate it as quickly as necessary.”

The Health Ministry cited the consistent drop in cases as the reason for dropping the testing requirement.

Under current coronavirus rules, anyone landing at Ben Gurion Airport must take a test, which travelers must pay for themselves.

After testing, arrivals must quarantine for 24 hours or until they get the test results, whichever comes first.

Additionally, starting Tuesday, noncitizens who arrive in Israel will be permitted to undergo an antigen test instead of a PCR test before they travel, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Travelers are seen arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, November 1, 2021.(Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

Tourists who choose an antigen test will need to be tested within 24 hours before before the flight. The ministry did not clarify if the test had to be administered by an official provider.

The announcement came as Israel’s coronavirus numbers continue their downward trend.

As of Sunday, there were 16,337 active confirmed COVID cases in Israel, with 1,773 new cases diagnosed a day earlier.

Health Ministry figures listed 132 COVID-positive patients in serious condition, with 53 of them on ventilators.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed