Israel is Open to Tourists

The first large groups are in the country and it is now also possible for individual travelers to enter the Holy Land

By Dov Eilon | | Topics: Tourism
Welcome back to the Holy Land! Photo: Marvin Chichportiche for Optical Center

Since November 1st, Israel has officially been open again to tourists after nearly a year-and-a-half of the borders being closed due to the Corona crisis. A successful pilot project took place in the summer in which a limited number of tour groups could enter. Now, at last, individual travelers can enter the Holy Land.

However, some conditions must be met. Visitors must either have had their most recent COVID-19 vaccine shot or have recovered from the virus in the six months prior to arrival, and even then PCR tests are required upon landing.

In addition, an online form must be completed no later than 48 hours before departure. The form can be found on the website of the Israel Ministry of Health.

The Optical Center group at Massada

As soon as the sky over Israel was open again, the first tourists landed at Ben Gurion Airport. It all started with a French group of no fewer than 2,600 visitors. They were employees of the French company Optical Center, one of the largest optician chains in the world. The 1,300 rooms required were booked in 11 Jerusalem hotels. No less than 70 tour guides were hired to work with the massive group.

The 2,600 participants in Optical Center’s tour group were among the first tourists to take the opportunity to finally visit Israel again.

Because many were in the Holy Land for the first time, the Old City of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea along with Massada could not be missed. The trip was planned by the owner of the chain, Laurent Levy. He wanted to give his workforce the opportunity to get to know the State of Israel. Because those who have truly experienced Israel often become its best ambassadors.

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