Israel to drop compulsory COVID tests for international travelers

Tests will not be necessary for arrivals as of May 20.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

As of May 20, international travelers flying into Ben Gurion International Airport will no longer be required to test for COVID, Israel’s Health Ministry announced on Sunday.

The ministry also announced that as of Thursday, travelers will be be allowed to take a rapid antigen test 24 hours before their flight.

Under the current regulations, arrivals must take a test at the airport and then quarantine for either 24 hours or until they receive a negative result.

The ministry attributed the change in policy to COVID’s declining spread and morbidity. The statement stressed, however, that testing could be reimplemented if necessary.

Israel dropped mandatory masking in April and has not seen a corresponding rise in COVID cases.

According to the latest ministry figures, there are currently 16,337 active cases of COVID in Israel, of which 132 are reported as serious. Since the outbreak, 10,741 Israelis have died of COVID.

Worldwide, COVID has claimed the lives of more than 6.2 million.