Israel Travel News

As of June 2021, COVID is under control in Israel, and virtually all restrictions have been lifted, but keep updated with Israel travel news. Travelers arriving in Israel must be COVID-vaccinated, fill in an online entry statement, and show proof of a negative COVID test taken up to 72 hours before flying. On arrival at Ben Gurion, passengers must undergo another COVID test. When leaving Israel another online statement must be filled in, and a negative COVID test result must be shown. Citizens from most countries (including UK, USA, and Australia) can travel to Israel for up to 90-days without a visa. There is no need for inoculations.

You might see frightening news reports that make you wonder if it is safe to visit Israel. It is safe! Israel is prepared for any event, and the areas visited by tourists are secure. If you’re nervous about traveling to Israel alone, join a tour package. You can exchange money at change stores, banks, and in the airport. Israel’s standard voltage is 230V and the frequency is 50Hz. Visitors from the UK, Europe, and Australia can use their appliances as usual, but American visitors will need a voltage converter. You can rent a cell phone at Ben Gurion, or, if your cell phone is “unlocked” you can purchase an Israel SIM card. WiFi is readily available in stores, hotels, and restaurants in Israel.


Covid19 S & H measures in Israel on July 2020

Presently the Covid19 pandemic is very much alive in Israel. A second wave at the height of the summer season, much to the regret of the Israeli people.Too much too soon! Despite the flattening of the curve and major optimism, it is evident that the release measures, back to life as we knew it, (due to the mounting economic pressures on the government) that were issued some weeks ago, have allowed the second wave to come upon us. Israelis had taken back their tempo of life with high spirits and much gusto! As they swarmed to the restaurants, markets, beaches, and outdoor locations.Many strict measures have had to be released once again in order to curb herd contagion. Our figures for severe cases has only risen slightly, and statistically fatalities as well. Public sympathy has poured out to the entire health system workers who have borne the brunt of this crisis throughout.Airtravel has collapsed, Ben Gurion international operates partially and in the interest of preserving public health, Israel has banned the entry of non- residents presently until August 1st (regrettably to be revised).Anyone entering is required to enter a 14-day quarantine and fill in a PLF (passenger locator form).Israelis are required to wear face masks in all public areas.Travel on public transport is limited toa certain amount of passengers and carries out major sanitization frequently. A 500NIS fine issued to anyone in public areas who does not wear a mask. Some neighborhoods have weeklong closures until measures are revised.Like all countries, we await a vaccine that will be effective and mass-produced to have the resumption of safe travel.Bein Harim looks forward to the day that we can resume operating safe and hygienic tour services for travelers entering Israel.Stay well, and let's work to bring that day forward!In the photo, just a little reminder for a beautiful day in Jerusalem!
By Bein Harim Team

El Al with special travel packages for the European gay community

Israel’s national El Al Airlines officially began marketing travel packages targeting Europe’s gay community on Monday, in cooperation with the Tel Aviv Tourist Association and the city’s Rov Hair faction.The special packages include a round trip from Europe, and a three-night stay in a Tel Aviv hotel, starting from the attractive price of €250 ($332). According to tourism branch sources, this is the first time El Al takes such a direct and upfront approach to gay tourism, that is courted around the world by travel agencies and airlines due to the great profit potential found among this population. On average, gay tourists spend more time vacationing than non-gay tourists and are known to be bigger spenders.The special packages will be marketed in a no less unique way: Thousands of gay Israelis surfing the Atraf dating website were urged to invite their homosexual friends from Europe to vacation in Israel and enjoy an array of events taking place during Gay and Lesbian Pride Month this June. The events will peak in Tel Aviv’s pride parade, that will be bigger and better than ever this year as part of the city’s centennial celebrations. If the campaign is successful, hundreds, if not thousands of gay tourists from Europe are expected to flood the city for the first time since the pride parades started.Tel Aviv’s gay community welcomed the joint initiative with El Al. Travel agent Russell Lord, who specializes in bringing gay tourists to Israel, said on Tuesday, “Since the campaign was launched yesterday, I’ve received many positive responses from gay tourists from Germany, Switzerland, Holland and Greece, and I didn’t believe there would be such quick responses. “So far, gay tourists have avoided coming to Israel because of the expensive flights and because there were no long weekend packages available, only week-long or 10-day packages. Thanks to this campaign, I believe that many gay tourists will come to vacation in Tel Aviv, and we certainly welcome El Al’s taking on the task.” El Al’s spokesperson’s office said the company “is cooperating with the Tel Aviv Municipality and the Hotel Association in a variety of offers for various crowds, in order to promote tourism to Israel”. Tel Aviv City Council member Rabbi Naftali Lobert said in response to the report: “This is a disgrace. Just as El Al was sensitive to the ultra-Orthodox community and refrained from flying on Shabbat and serves kosher meals, it shouldn’t take part in this. And in general, this whole pride parade – it would be better to watch a show at the circus than this parade.”
By Petal Mashraki

Israel Travel Restrictions Today - COVID-19 Update

At long last tourism in Israel seems to be slowly opening up after over a year of corona restrictions. Israel has a high vaccination rate, corona infection is down, kids are back at school, and face masks are no longer mandatory in open spaces. Restaurants, attractions, and places of entertainment in Israel are open but with restrictions. Every day more airlines announce that they are restarting flights to Israel. Initially, incoming tourism will be from countries Israel has reciprocal agreements with like Greece, UAE, Italy, UK, USA, and more. You can already book day tours and tour packages in Israel but current travel restrictions to Israel can be confusing. To understand who can visit the Holy Land and when you should be familiar with the terms FIT and GIT travel. So, what do FIT and GIT mean?Masada Fortress. Photo credit:© Dmitry MishinLatest Information for Tourists Planning to Visit Israel about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as of 9 September 2021At the moment and until further notice, entry to Israel is still denied to most non-citizens or non-residents of Israel. More details will be provided as soon as possible. Israel will allow small GIT foreign tour groups from selective countries to visit as of Sept. 19 under a pilot program to kick-start tourism, the government said on Sunday. An unlimited number of tour groups from countries on Israel's green, yellow and orange lists will be allowed to enter the country, provided all group members have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For GIT definition please read the text below:Latest Guidelines for International Travelers to IsraelFrom September 19, 2021, international visitors (GIT only) holding a COVID vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery will be able to travel to Israel. At first, limits will be placed on the number of tourists that can enter Israel each day.Travelers flying to Israel must fill in an inbound passenger statement online no more than 24 hours before their scheduled departure. Once the form is approved, you will be issued entrance clearance, which you should keep with you when you travel.Travelers must have a COVID-19 PCR test at least 72 hours before their flight.On arrival, incoming passengers must present the negative COVID-19 PCR test and entrance clearance to airline staff, and officials at Ben Gurion airport.Incoming passengers must take another COVID-19 test at Ben Gurion, and a serological test (an antibody test).At the moment travel restrictions for children under 16-years-old, who cannot be vaccinated are still unclear.While in Israel, face masks are mandatory indoors, but not required in outdoor areas. Restaurants, attractions, and places of entertainment may ask to see your “Tav Yarok” which is the Israeli version of a green pass or vaccination passport. Visitors should have their vaccination certificates with them at all times.Tourist wearing a mask at Rosh Hanikra, Israel. Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinCurrent Situation (as of September, 2021)As of September 2021, travelers arriving in Israel must be COVID-vaccinated, fill in an online entry statement, and show proof of a negative COVID test taken up to 72 hours before flying.On arrival at Ben Gurion, passengers must undergo another COVID test. When leaving Israel another online statement must be filled in, and a negative COVID test result must be shown. Citizens from most countries (including UK, USA, and Australia) can travel to Israel for up to 90-days without a visa. There is no need for inoculations.You might see frightening news reports that make you wonder if it is safe to visit Israel. It is safe! Israel is prepared for any event, and the areas visited by tourists are secure. If you’re nervous about traveling to Israel alone, join a package tour. You can exchange money at change stores, banks, and in the airport. Israel’s standard voltage is 230V and the frequency is 50Hz.Visitors from the UK, Europe, and Australia can use their appliances as usual, but American visitors will need a voltage converter. You can rent a cell phone at Ben Gurion, or, if your cell phone is “unlocked” you can purchase an Israel SIM card. WiFi is readily available in stores, hotels, and restaurants in Israel. For more information please check this page.Understanding FIT and GIT TourismFree Independent Traveler (FIT): A FITis a Free Independent Traveler or Fully Independent Traveler, Family and Individual Travelers or Flexible Independent Travel. FITs leave their home country without an organized tour package or group. They could be solo travelers, couples, families, or even a few friends traveling together. FITs plan their itineraries and make their own bookings for tours, hotels, flights, and attractions. They have no assistance from a dedicated tour guide or travel professional. If something goes wrong, they have no safety net.Solo tourist in Acre, Israel.Photo credit:© Dmitry MishinGroup Inclusive Tour (GIT): A Group Inclusive Tour (GIT) is an organized tour arranged for a specific group of people such as a church group, school, charity group, business, or club. The tour begins from the moment you board the plane to Israel. GIT travel is all-inclusive and covers international flights, airport transfers, hotels, meals, excursions, entrance tickets, travel insurance, and sightseeing.One guide usually stays with the group throughout the trip and follows a fixed itinerary. GIT travel is a great team-building experience often organized by companies for their employees. One of the best examples of GIT travel is Taglit, an international program that brings young diaspora Jews to Israel for a once-in-a-life introduction to the Jewish homeland.Group Inclusive Tour in Banias, Israel. Photo credit:© Dmitry MishinThe Best of Both Worlds-FIT Group ToursThere are many advantages to GIT travel, not only is it usually cheaper than FIT, and less stressful, but you are likely to see more of the country than you would if you were traveling alone. What do you do if you are traveling alone, but want the advantages of group travel? Bein Harim Tours has the solution for individual travelers who would like to enjoy a group tour but are not part of an organization, school, business, or church group that is visiting Israel.Group Day Tours for FITs - FITs traveling to Israel can join one of Bein Harim’s daily tours. These tours are for individual travelers that meet for the first time on the tour day. Day tours cover attractions across Israel and often focus on a particular theme, such as Christian landmarks, Jewish heritage, or Muslim sites. These tours cover the country from Galilee and Golan in the north to the Dead Sea and Masada in the south. Travelers get a professional guide for the day, and transportation in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle. There are even bicycle tours and graffiti tours in Tel Aviv, and a tour of Tel Aviv’s famous Carmel market.Tour packages for FITs- Bein Harim package tours are for individual travelers (FITs) that take a group tour together with other individual travelers. Many long-lasting friendships are formed when tourists from around the world meet on a package tour for FITs. The tours include hotel accommodation, guide service, and transportation in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle. The packages also include free time to explore on your own. Group package tours last 4-12 days, and any domestic flights are included in the price. These group tours for FITs don't include the cost of international flights. FITs can choose from a selection of group tour packages from Christian tours in Israel, and Jewish tour packages to classic tour packages in Israel. This way FITs get all the advantages of GIT travel. If you want more flexibility, then there are private tours for individuals and small groups in Israel.Day group tour with Bein Harim Tourism, Jerusalem.Photo credit:© Dmitry MishinHow, Where and When to Book Post-COVID Tours in IsraelFrom October 2021, Bein Harim will be offering daily tours. Depending on the situation, it is assumed that tour packages in Israel will be offered from December 2021. Bein Harim offers tours to Petra and Jordan, but as it is difficult to predict how corona will affect crossing the border into another country, Jordan tours will restart at the beginning of 2022. Tours on the Bein Harim website are intended for FITs that want to join a group of individuals for a guided tour. The FIT group tours are not intended for travel groups (GIT). However, Bein Harim has a dedicated Group Travel Department that can help you organize the perfect package tour for your club, school, colleagues, or congregation. If you are planning a group trip for 10 or more people, send a message to info@beinharimtours.com for the best possible service. Whether you are arriving in Israel as a FIT or a GIT traveler, Bein Harim’s dedicated team is happy to advise you in your travel planning.Wind turbines in the Golan Heights.Photo credit:© Dmitry Mishin
By Petal Mashraki
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