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Recently recovered from COVID now exempt from virus test before entering Israel

Israelis can present documentation proving recovery within the last 3 months, instead of a negative PCR test; but all are still required to be tested upon arrival

Travelers are seen at Ben Gurion Airport, on July 19, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Travelers are seen at Ben Gurion Airport, on July 19, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Israelis who recently recovered from COVID-19 will be exempt from being required to conduct a virus test before taking a return flight to the country, a governmental committee ruled on Sunday evening.

The decision to exempt those who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last three months from being required to get a PCR test before departing to Israel is effective immediately, the Exemptions Committee run by the Foreign Ministry, Health Ministry, and Population and Immigration Authority, announced on Monday.

During a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test, a sample is taken from a nasal swab and sent to a laboratory for testing. They are considered to be the most accurate form of COVID testing.

To be exempt from a virus test, one must show an Israeli document proving recovery from the virus from at least eleven days prior, and from no longer than three months prior, according to the new rules.

It is not clear if foreigners would be able to present a non-Israeli document proving recovery from COVID-19, or would still need to conduct a test, as currently required for all travelers.

All arrivals are also still required to conduct a PCR test upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, and self-isolate according to the infection rate of the country they came from and their vaccination status.

An American woman in Miami receives a coronavirus test (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Israelis who have been administered a third coronavirus vaccine will only have to quarantine for 24 hours after returning from abroad or upon receiving a negative coronavirus test result, rather than a full week.

But returning from some countries, regardless of one’s vaccination status, still requires the full seven-day quarantine, due to their high infection rate.

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