COVID-19 Information

Ask a COVID-19 Question

COVID-19 Information

Last updated:  [09/22/20]

Israel:

Country-Specific Information:

Israel has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

The Government of Israel announced updated guidelines and restrictions regarding personal movements and social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These guidelines include the requirement to wear a protective mask that covers the nose and mouth in public (see Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) guidance and/or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) instructional video) and guidelines regarding personal movement, gatherings, transportation, and businesses (see MOH guidance).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Warning Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. As of March 25, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that travelers from CDC Level 3 or Level 4 countries who are asymptomatic may enter the United States and travel to their final destination and practice good habits upon return self-quarantine upon arrival. For further information on COVID-19 and returning to the United States, please visit the  CDC website guidance on travel.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

U.S. citizens who wish to travel to the United States should arrange for immediate departure to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza for an indefinite period. The U.S. government has no plans to arrange repatriation flights in Israel at this time.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? [Yes]
  • On March 18, the Government of Israel announced that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, who are not Israeli citizens or permanent residents will not be allowed to enter Israel. Exceptions may be made for non-nationals whose lives are based in Israel. Such individuals who wish to travel to Israel should contact the Consular Department of the closest Israeli embassy or consulate for further information.
  • We recommend travelers not board flights to Israel without a pre-clearance letter from the Israeli Government as there is no assurance they will be admitted into the country.
  • U.S. citizens who possess an Israeli visa (e.g., student visa) are encouraged to contact your local Israeli embassy or consulate to determine if you will be permitted entry prior to arrival.
  • Israel’s Diplomatic Missions.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? [No]
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? [Yes]
  • Please note that all arriving passengers, including U.S. citizens, may be subject to health screening and/or a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Government of Israel-established quarantine center, with some exceptions noted below
  • Israeli visas can only be extended by the Israeli government. Please contact the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority (PIBA) for more information.

Movement Restrictions:

  • COVID-19 general restrictions and guidelines
  • Is a curfew in place? [Yes]
  • The Israeli government announced a nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, effective September 18 at 2:00 PM.   Israeli Ministry of Health:  https://govextra.gov.il/ministry-of-health/corona/corona-virus-en/
  • The Government of Israel may institute local or nation-wide lockdowns on short notice to contain the spread of COVID-19.  This may include closing most businesses; curtailing residents’ movements, which may impede movement inside and between cities and a general curfew.  The latest information can be found on the Israeli Ministry of Health website.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? [Yes]
  • The Israeli government announced a nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, effective September 18 at 2:00 PM.   Israeli Ministry of Health:  https://govextra.gov.il/ministry-of-health/corona/corona-virus-en/
  • Land border crossings may be closed with little or no advance notice.  As of March 18, the Government of Israel announced the closure of its borders with Egypt and Jordan.

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? [Yes]
  • Please note that all arriving passengers, including U.S. citizens, may be subject to health screening and/or a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Government of Israel-established quarantine center. Those who demonstrate the ability to maintain proper home isolation (such as those with a housing of their own or a completely separate housing unit with no other occupants) may be allowed to undergo their 14-day required isolation at home or another suitable location available to them. Individuals who are unable to home-isolate according to regulations will be directed to hotel isolation at the expense of the State of Israel. Arriving passengers will not be allowed to return to home isolation via public transportation with the exception of taxis (in accordance with regulations on masks/open windows). For more information, contact the Israeli Ministry of Health.
  • Please refer to the Israeli Ministry of Health’s instructions for home quarantine and health precaution instructions, or call *5400 (in Israel only).

COVID-19 Testing:

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? [Yes]
  • United and Delta airlines currently offer regularly scheduled direct flights between Ben Gurion airport and multiple destinations in the United States, but flights are subject to change at any time. Effective July 1, El Al airlines has suspended all flights. Flights from Ben Gurion airport to other destinations which provide direct connections to the United States are also available. Further flight cancellations and suspensions can occur with little or no warning, making availability limited and unpredictable. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.
  • The Embassy is not able to assist with arranging commercial travel options. If your travel has been disrupted or to make travel arrangements, please contact your airline: United Airlines (Local: 03-5116787, U.S.: 1-800-225-8610), El Al Airlines (Local: 03-977-1111) or Delta Airlines (Local: 03-513-8000, U.S.: 1-800-221-1212)
  • Is public transportation operating? [Yes]
  • To reduce the risk of spread of the corona virus, the first row of seats on buses will be cordoned-off to reduce contact between passengers and bus drivers. On intercity bus routes, passengers will not be permitted to stand.
  • See the National Public Transport Authority

Fines for Non-Compliance: (if applicable)

  • Non-compliance with safety measures could result in fines, business closure, or imprisonment.

West Bank: 

Country-Specific Information: 

The areas of the West Bank under Government of Israel control fall under the Israeli guidelines listed above. The areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control fall under the Palestinian Authority guidelines listed below.  

The Palestinian Authority has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the West Bank.  

The West Bank has been under a state of emergency since March 5, 2020. The Palestinian Authority has extended the state of emergency until October 4, 2020.  

The Palestinian Authority may institute local or West Bank-wide lockdowns on short notice to contain the spread of COVID-19.  This may include closing most businesses; curtailing residents’ movements, which may impede movement inside and between cities; a general curfew; and closures of the crossings between the West Bank and Israel. The latest information can be found (in Arabic only) on the PA Ministry of Health website.  

Entry and Exit Requirements: 

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? [Yes] 
  • Beginning March 17 and until further notice, the Government of Jordan suspended all regular inbound and outbound flights and closed land and sea borders, including the Allenby crossing, to all regular passenger traffic, including Jordanian passport holders. A limited number of individuals with Palestinian Authority-issued ID cards and Jordanian passports have been permitted to enter on a case by case basis.  
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? [Yes] 
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? [Yes] 
  • The Palestinian Authority requires all individuals who seek to enter the West Bank via the Allenby crossing to take a COVID -19 test.  
  • All visas for individuals who were legally present in the West Bank through March 12, 2020 were automatically extended until August 31, 2020.  After August 31, to renew a Government of Israel-issued “Judea and Samaria visa,” U.S. citizens may go directly to the Government of Israel COGAT office in Beit El Sundays through Thursdayfrom 9am to 2pm without an appointment; arrive with your completed visa form and payment from the Postal Bank.  The COGAT Office at Beit El can be reached at 02-9977072.   
  • If you are a U.S. citizen without a Palestinian Authority-issued ID card traveling from the West Bank to Ben Gurion airport for onward departure no advanced coordination with any authority is required for travel via Ben Gurion Airport, including for U.S. citizens with a “Judea and Samaria visa.” Please appear at a checkpoint no earlier than six hours prior to your scheduled flight and present proof of travel.  
  • If you are a U.S. citizen with a Palestinian Authority-Issued ID card or a Jordanian passport, you will need to coordinate your departure from the West Bank with relevant authorities in advance.  
  • U.S. citizens with a Palestinian Authority-issued ID card may contact the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assistance with departing the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge and Queen Alia Airport in Amman, Jordan.  For more information, please visit the PA MFA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mofa.pna or contact mofa@pna.ps or 02-294-3140.  
  • If you are a dual national Palestinian-American above the age of 16you will need to obtain a “Magnetic Card” if you wish to request a permit for accessing Ben Gurion Airport.   
  • A Magnetic Card can be issued at three  District Coordination and Liaison Centers (DCLs) – Tulkarem DCL, Tarqumia DCL, and Qalandia DCL.  
  • Each person must make an appointment in advance via the COGAT’s mobile application (see below). All applicants must present their Palestinian National Identification Card at their scheduled appointment.  Processing time is between 1-4 days.  Payment is required and can be made through the Israel Postal Bank. 
  • A YouTube link to the mobile phone app is here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFLY-ECV5eU&feature=youtu.be 
  •  U.S. citizens with a Jordanian passport, including families where only one member is a Jordanian national, may contact the Jordanian Mission in Ramallah for assistance with departing the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge.  The Jordanian Mission can be contacted at ramallah@fm.gov.jo or by phone at 02-2974625 or 02-2974626.  
  • U.S. citizens may also contact FlyEast, a private travel company, for assistance in crossing the Allenby bridge and/or for flights out of Amman.  For bridge crossing and flights out of Amman, FlyEast can be contacted at karin@flyeast.co.il, phone:  054-482-5124.  For bridge crossings only, FlyEast can be contacted at Stefani@ofakim-vip.com, phone:  050-609-9104.  To cross the Allenby Bridge, you must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the bridge crossing.  To take the test, contact: https://medicare.ps/, or 059-8762253; this is a Government of Jordan requirement.  

Movement Restrictions: 

  • Is a curfew in place? [No] 
  • The Palestinian Authority may institute local or West Bank-wide lockdowns on short notice to contain the spread of COVID-19.  This may include closing most businesses; curtailing residents’ movements, which may impede movement inside and between cities; a general curfew; and closures of the crossings between the West Bank and Israel. The latest information can be found (in Arabic only) on the PA Ministry of Health website.  
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? [No] 

Quarantine Information: 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? [Yes] 
  • The Palestinian Authority requires all individuals entering the West Bank via the Allenby crossing to take a COVID -19 test. If the result is positive, individuals will be required to quarantine in accordance with PA MOH requirements.  If the result is negative, no quarantine is required.  

COVID-19 Testing: 

Transportation Options: 

  • Are commercial flights operating? [No] 
  •  There are no direct flights between the U.S. and the West Bank. Beginning March 17 and until further notice, the Government of Jordan has suspended all regular inbound and outbound flights and closed land and sea borders, including the Allenby Bridge crossing , to all regular passenger traffic, including Jordanian passport holders. Special commercial and repatriation flights continue to operate on a limited basis.  
  • Is public transportation operating? [Yes] 

Fines for Non-Compliance:  

  • Non-compliance with safety measures could result in fines, business closure, or imprisonment.  

Gaza: 

Country-Specific Information: 

There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gaza. 

Entry and Exit Requirements:  

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? [No] 
  • The de facto authority in Gaza stated that travel in and out of Gaza will only be permitted for urgent humanitarian cases through Erez and Rafah crossings and that those coming into Gaza will be quarantined for a period of 21 days. 
  • Only U.S. citizens with a Palestinian Authority-issued ID card will be allowed to enter Gaza through Erez and Rafah crossings. 
  •  The Government of Israel has stated that travel in and out of Gaza through Erez Crossing is restricted to urgent humanitarian cases only. 
  • Please note that the Department of State warns all U.S. citizens against all travel to Gaza and urges those present to depart. If you are a U.S. citizen in Gaza who wishes to return to the United States, please contact the Embassy at JerusalemACS@state.gov before making your travel arrangements. 
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry?[No] 
  • Are health screening procedures in place at border crossing or checkpoints?  [Yes]  

Movement Restrictions:  

  • Is a curfew in place? [Yes] 
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? [Yes] 
  • The de facto authority may institute local or Gaza-wide lockdowns on short notice to contain the spread of COVID-19. This may include closing businesses and public institutions; curtailing residents’ movements, which may impede movement inside and between cities; a general curfew; and closures of the crossings between Gaza and Egypt or Israel. 

Quarantine Information:  

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? [Yes] 
  • The de facto authority stated that those coming into Gaza will be quarantined in one of the designated facilities for a period of 21 days. There is a quarantine point in Gaza near the Rafah crossing as well as several quarantine locations within Gaza. 
  • Wearing of face masks is strictly enforced. 

COVID-19 Testing:  

  • COVID-19 tests are available at some local hospitals and clinics in Gaza. 
  • Persons who have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive case may contact the local health authorities in Gaza via WhatsApp at (00970599503103). 

Health Information: 

  • The European Hospital is designated as the pandemic treatment center. 
  • For information on public medical services, including medications, you may contact the local health authorities in Gaza by dialing 103 or 1800 444 666. 

Transportation Options:  

  • Are commercial flights operating? [No] 
  • There are no direct flights between the U.S. and Gaza. Multiple direct and indirect flight options to the United States appear to be available from Cairo, Egypt, via EgyptAir, Air France, Lufthansa, and others. Please check directly with the airlines or a travel agency for options. 
  • Is public transportation operating? [Yes] 

Education Information: 

  • All educational facilities in Gaza are closed until further notice and conducting instruction via distance learning. 

Fines for Non-Compliance:  

  • While in Gaza, U.S. citizens are subject to all local rules and regulations regarding quarantine and other public health matters. 

Consular Operations: 

  • Passport printing centers in the United States have resumed printing full validity passports submitted via U.S. Embassies and consulates abroad.  All eligible passport renewal applicants must apply for full validity passports by mail.  
  • Please see  https://il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passport-services/renewal-by-mail/ for information on renewing passports by mail. 
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in line with the U.S. and Israeli governments’ public health guidance, the Consular Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv are currently providing limited emergency passport appointments only for applicants who cannot apply by mail. Emergency passport services are available by appointment only in Jerusalem (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 08:00 to 11:00) and Tel Aviv (Tuesday and Thursday, 08:00 to 11:00), excluding holidays.  
  • Please see https://il.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passport-services/ for more information. 
  • The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv remain unable to resume routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services at this time. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date.  Please see https://il.usembassy.gov/visas/ for more information. 

Local Resources: 

Please enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so the U.S. Embassy can contact you with updated information and in an emergency. 

Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments: 

  • U.S. citizens living overseas may qualify for the Coronavirus Economic Impact Payment program.  Please visit the Internal Revenue Service Economic Impact Payment Information Center  for the most up-to-date information regarding these payments and other tax information.  The U.S. Embassy cannot answer tax or impact payment questions.  Taxpayer questions should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service (https://www.irs.gov); a list of accountants can also be found on our website 
  • Be aware of possible scams. U.S. government agencies, including the IRS, are not sending unsolicited emails or phone messages seeking personal information or payments in order to send an economic impact payment more quickly.  For more information see the IRS statement on coronavirus-related scams