COVID-19 Information

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Last updated July 28 2020

Country-Specific Information:  Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza:

Israel:

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).

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.

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)

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 self-quarantine upon arrival. For further information on COVID-19 and returning to the United States, please visit the  CDC website.

The Government of Israel announced the following COVID-related restrictions:

General restrictions (seven days a week, effective at 17:00, Friday, July 17):

Closure of gyms and studios for exercise or dance, except for use by competitive athletes, as defined in the order.
Restaurants and eateries – takeaway and delivery only, no on-site seating.
Restaurants and eateries in hotels – The number of people present will be limited to 35% of the maximum number allowed in order to permit the continued operation of the hotel.

Weekend restrictions (to take effect from 17:00 on Fridays until 05:00 on Sundays):

There will be no restriction on leaving one’s home.
During the weekend, being on beaches shall be prohibited (except for this weekend, 17- 18 July, when beaches shall remain open).
During the weekend, stores, malls, open-air markets, hair salons/barbershops, beauty parlors, libraries, petting zoos, museums and display spaces, pools, tourist attractions and cable cars shall be closed.

Please note: This restriction shall not apply to stores providing essential services: Places for the sale of food, pharmacies and stores most business of which is the sale of hygiene products, opticians and labs for the repair of communications devices.

This restriction shall not apply to swimming pools at hotels that are designated for hotel guests only in order to allow hotels to provide the main ancillary services to their guests, during weekends as well).

Entry/ Quarantine Requirements and Information

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.

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.

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.

Entry/Exit Information

The Israeli Population and Immigration Authority (PIBA) automatically extended the following visas categories expiring from March 12, 2020, until June 30, 2020.  Any visa holder of the below categories does not need to renew their visas at a PIBA office.

  • B1 (Work Visa)
  • A1 (Eligible under the Right of Return Visa)
  • A2 (Student/Trainee/Intern visa)
  • A3 (Religious Study and Practice Visa)
  • A4 (Companion Visa for A2 and A3 Visa holders)
  • A5 (Temporary Resident Visa)

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.

Beginning March 17 and until further notice, the Government of Jordan has suspended all inbound and outbound flights and closed land and sea borders to passenger traffic.

Additional Quarantine Information:

Please refer to the Israeli Ministry of Health’s instructions for home quarantine and health precaution instructions, or call *5400 (in Israel only).

West Bank:

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 August 4, 2020.

In addition the Palestinian Authority may institute local or West Bank-wide lockdowns on short notice in an effort 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. At this time, business closures exclude bakeries, pharmacies, and supermarkets. The latest information can be found (in Arabic only) on the PA Ministry of Health website at http://site.moh.ps/index/index/Language/ar.

 Entry and Exit Requirements:

All visas for individuals who were legally present in the West Bank through March 12, 2020 were automatically extended until August 31, 2020.

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.

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, the VIP service at the Allenby Bridge, for assistance in crossing the 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.  In order 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. 

You may wish to also inform the Embassy of your arrangements at JerusalemACS@state.gov.

All travelers, including U.S. citizens, passing through any open checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank might be subject to increased scrutiny and significant delays. Further checkpoint information is available at the following webpage, but it may not always be up to date: Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories. Land border crossings may be closed with little or no advance notice.

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 to all regular passenger traffic, including Jordanian passport holders.

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 (https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/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 (https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-warning-about-coronavirus-related-scams-watch-out-for-schemes-tied-to-economic-impact-payments)

Local Resources:

Other links:

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.