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Israel to reopen to Brits after red list scrapped

Israel is set to reopen to visitors from the UK on Sunday (January 9) after scrapping its red list of countries.

A statement from the Israel Government Tourism Office (IGTO) in London said: “Israel has announced the welcome news that it is set to open its skies for the first time in a month by cancelling its list of high-infection ‘red’ countries, including the UK, pending Israeli government approval.

“Countries that were previously listed on the red list will be moved to Israel’s orange and green lists dependent on their status.”

The recommendation to drop the red list came from the Israeli Health Ministry director-general Nachman Ash.

The list was compiled to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant in Israel, but as the country is seeing a major outbreak, officials see the travel bans as obsolete.

The IGTO statement said the move will allow Israelis to travel again anywhere in the world without needing special governmental permission, or to quarantine for a week upon their return – provided they are fully vaccinated under the health ministry’s criteria: inoculated twice within the previous six months, vaccinated with a booster, recovered with one shot, or recovered within six months.

Foreign visitors from orange and green countries will be allowed to visit Israel starting from Sunday (January 9), subject to final government approval.

Inbound travellers are required to present a negative Covid test in order to board the flight (either PCR taken less than 72 hours prior the hour of departure or antigen less than 24 hours before departure) and take a PCR upon landing in Israel.

Those who are vaccinated will be able to leave quarantine as soon as they receive the results or after 24 hours; those who are not must stay quarantined for a week and take a second test on the seventh day.

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