April 30, 2021 3:00:22 pm
The country had closed its doors to international tourists last year, during the beginning of the pandemic. But now, Israel is planning to welcome visitors back, because it has controlled the spread of the virus. The only condition is, they must be vaccinated.
According to a report in The National News, the first 40 tour groups are expected to land in the country on May 23. Individual visitors, however, will have to wait until July 2021 before they can travel to Israel.
Israel’s tourism minister, Orit Farkash-Hacohen, was quoted as saying: “It’s a hopeful day, in my view. I think it is about time that the huge advantage that Israel has as a healthy and vaccinated destination [is harnessed].”
Per the report, the country in the Middle East has vaccinated nearly 55 per cent of its population, and coronavirus infection rates have also plummeted, allowing it to open hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions; some restrictions, however, are in place.
The tourism minister has said that tourists who will arrive in May, will join “approved bus tours”, since “groups are easy to monitor as they have a schedule that is organised and we know where they are at every time and place”.
As mentioned earlier, visitors must be fully vaccinated — with doses approved by the US and European regulators — in addition to undergoing coronavirus tests before boarding their flight and on arrival in the country, the report states.
While Farkash-Hacohen has not revealed from where the first set of visitors will arrive, Israel plans to launch advertising campaigns in Dubai, London and New York, the report states, adding that in reference to this new plan, health officials in the country have raised concerns that this could lead to the spread of new coronavirus variants.
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