COVID-19 closure: Here’s the criteria to get an entry permit to Israel

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Thousands are stranded abroad since the government decided to close the skies last week, a decision that was extended at least until February 7.

On Monday, a new committee that will determine who can receive a permit to enter the country met for the first time and unveiled a list of exceptions.

1. To receive essential medical treatment

This can include for the traveler or a minor that he or she cares for. A person applying to enter under these criteria must show proof of the need for the treatment from a certified medical institution.

2. To attend the funeral of a first-degree family member

3. In cases of a sudden injury of a first-degree relative

In this case, the person requesting entry would need to show that the individual is being treated in one of the country’s medical institutions.

4. To carry out essential work on behalf of the State of Israel, providing the work cannot be delayed or handled from abroad

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5. To return from a government-sponsored mission

This includes those people who traveled as part of a delegation of a government-sponsored company or who were abroad representing the state on a short, official stay.

6. The committee could also consider additional humanitarian cases related to sections 1, 2 and 3 based on their urgency and necessity

The committee said all applicants will need to specify the reason for their request and provide verification to support it.

Furthermore, all applicants will be required to take a coronavirus test before boarding the plane and provide a negative result from no more than 72 hours in advance of their arrival upon entry into Israel. At the same time, all returnees will be required to be isolated in a state-run coronavirus hotel for 10 days, with few exceptions.

Each individual’s request will be examined by a representative of the committee in collaboration with representatives of the Health and Foreign ministries.

The request form can be found online at https://survey.gov.il/he/Entrances. The form is in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

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On Sunday night, the government voted to extend the ban on international flights until next Sunday. It also decided that beginning Monday, all returnees who do enter the country will be required to isolate in state-run coronavirus hotels, with few exceptions. That regulation will be in place through the expected opening of the airport on February 7.

The Health Ministry plans to push to keep the skies closed until officials understand more about coronavirus variants or until the country can implement a policy that will allow people into Israel from abroad without spreading the disease, coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said during a briefing on Monday. This could include effectively testing travelers, sending them to hotels or allowing home isolation with effective electronic tracking, he said.

“We need to complete that process, and then we can open the skies,” Ash said. “I have no idea when that will happen.”

The committee to approve applications for arrival in Israel is being headed by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.

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