Wednesday, December 8, 2021
HomeNewsHoteliers doubt eased tourist rules will make a difference

Hoteliers doubt eased tourist rules will make a difference

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The government’s move to open Israel’s borders to critics has been met with skepticism by some in the tourism industry, noting that the program’s vaccination requirements for COVID-19 severely limit the list of those eligible to enter, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The vast majority of tourists have actually been banned from entering Israel since the start of the corona plague in March 2020. The reopening of the borders has been postponed numerous times during the year, as corona infections have faded.

Last week, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the ministers had agreed to open Israel’s borders from November 1 to tourists who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 or had recovered from the disease.

However, there have been a number of conditions, such as having received at least one impulse shot in the previous six months and that tourists do not come from so-called “red countries”, those with high virus infection rates.

The time frame means that any future tourist whose last shot was before May 1st will not be able to travel to Israel.

Hotel owners in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth and Bethlehem in the West Bank did not see a significant increase in bookings, According to the article.

The director general of the Israel Hotels Association, Yael Danieli, noted that many countries have not yet started giving impulse injections to their populations.

“How many tourists in the world have received reinforcements or are they sitting for a period of six months after their second dose?” She told Reuters.

Another limitation is that children under the age of 12 are not eligible for the vaccine and therefore will not be allowed to enter Israel, even if their parents do, she noted.

Danieli said the government should allow individual tourists to enjoy the same rules that already exist for small, six-month-old excursion groups, provided the group members undergo virus testing every 72 hours during the first two weeks. Are in the country.

“We just want to make it easier for the tourists, so they will come back,” she said. “We can not say how many will be able to come up with these rules.”

Israel’s entry rules also affect the West Bank, as visitors to the area must pass an Israeli border check.

Joey Kanavati, manager of the Alexander Hotel in Bethlehem, told Reuters that although the plans for November are a “big step”, he does not expect a big change in the number of tourists until next year.

“Right now, we just want to stop the bleeding, stop digging into our savings,” he said.

According to the new regulations, only tourists vaccinated during the 180 days before boarding the plane will be allowed to enter Israel. In the case of Pfizer vaccination, seven days must elapse between the traveler’s second or third injection and his entry into Israel. In the case of Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (one dose, not two), Sinovac and Sinopharm, 14 days should elapse.

Following the publication of the plan last week, the Prime Minister’s Office said that the plan, which must still be approved by the Corona High Cabinet, may be updated to take into account any threat posed by new versions of the Corona virus. Several cases of the new AY4.2 version have already been diagnosed in Israel.

The current regulations have allowed tourists to start arriving in organized groups in May, albeit with very limited occupancy. In addition, first-degree relatives of Israeli citizens or residents could apply for travel permits to the country.

According to both the current regulations and the new regulations, all passengers to Israel must undergo a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and must pass a second test upon landing at Ben Gurion Airport. Immunized passengers must remain in quarantine for 24 hours or until a negative test result is obtained. The vaccinated must remain in quarantine for 14 days, which can be shortened to seven days in two negative tests, on days 1 and 7.

Israel appears to be at the edge of its fourth corona wave, as new infections and severe cases have struck in recent weeks.

Tourism numbers fell 80% in 2020, a drop from the record numbers in 2019 that were worth $ 7.2 billion to the economy.

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