Israel is to start a “gradual reopening” of its tourism sector, including plans to turn Eilat and the Dead Sea into “green tourism islands”.
The country has banned foreign nationals from visiting by law since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but is now planning to slowly relax this policy.
Under the plans approved by the Israeli government, the Red Sea resort of Eilat and the Dead Sea hotel complex will open up to domestic travellers as “special tourism areas”.
While international business travellers from “green countries” with low Covid rates will be able to submit a request to visit Israel if their work is deemed to be “vital” to the country’s economy.
Domestic travellers will be able to visit Eilat and the Dead Sea as long as they can present an up-to-date negative Covid-19 test or proof of their recovery from the virus.
Details of the plan will be discussed in the Israeli parliament next week before being voted on – once approved, hotels in the two destinations are expected to reopen “immediately”.
Tourism minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen explained: “The green tourism islands outline approved by the government is the result of a very complex dialogue with the Ministry of Health and a great effort to bring this before the government to get it moving.
“The outline gives an immediate response to 30% of the tourism industry in special geographical areas of Israel – Eilat and the Dead Sea.”