COVID-19 Information

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Last updated July 02, 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.

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 July 4, 2020.
Additionally, the Palestinian Authority declared a five-day lockdown throughout the West Bank, from Friday, July 3, through Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. This lockdown may be extended with limited notice. In addition, the governors of Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, and Bethlehem announced jurisdiction-wide lockdowns effective July 2. Under the lockdown, most businesses will be closed, and residents’ movements in the West Bank will be curtailed, which may impede movement inside and between cities, as well as crossings between the West Bank and Israel. Business closures exclude bakeries, pharmacies, and supermarkets, which are scheduled to be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. 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 June 30, 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 and you have a visa issued by the government of Israel that states “For Judea and Samaria only,” you must 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 without a Palestinian Authority-issued ID card without a restricted visa, you may make your way directly to Ben Gurion airport. If you are a U.S. citizen with a Palestinian Authority-Issued ID card, please contact the Embassy at  JerusalemACS@state.gov before making your travel arrangements. 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 inbound and outbound flights and closed land and sea borders to all passenger traffic, including Jordanian passport holders.

Quarantine Information:

Each governorate in the areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control has a designated quarantine location.

Gaza:

 There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gaza.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

The Government of Israel has stated that travel in and out of Gaza through the Erez crossing is restricted to urgent humanitarian cases only.  The de facto authority in Gaza stated that travel in and out of Gaza will only be permitted for urgent humanitarian cases and that those coming into Gaza will be quarantined for a period of 21 days. 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.

Beginning on March 19 and until further notice, the Government of Egypt suspended all international and domestic flights.

Quarantine Information:

There is a quarantine point in Gaza near the Rafah Border Crossing with Egypt, as well as a number of quarantine locations within Gaza.

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.