Last updated April 2, 2020
- U.S. Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Country-Specific Information: Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza:
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 remaining within 100 meters of your home, reduced public transport, and the closure of places of worship, schools, commercial/dining establishments, heritage sites, and parks/beaches. For a full list of guidelines, please visit the Israeli Ministry of Health website and guidelines (PDF File). People traveling within Israel may encounter increased police presence and enforcement of social distancing guidelines, including checkpoints and the imposition of fines for violations.
U.S. citizens who live in or seek 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 only available commercial flight departing Ben Gurion Airport to the United States is on United Airlines, but it is subject to change at any time. El Al has extended the suspension of their flights to the United States until May 2. To the best of our knowledge, there are no flights available at this time from Ben Gurion Airport to other destinations which provide direct connections to the United States. 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 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. 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.
The Israeli Population and Immigration Authority (PIBA) automatically extended the following visas visa categories expiring from March 12, 2020, until June 30, 2020. Any visa holder of the below category 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.
Most checkpoints between Jerusalem and Bethlehem and its surrounding suburbs in the West Bank have been closed until further notice. Additional checkpoints might be closed on short notice. 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, 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 with a Palestinian Authority-Issued ID card, please contact the Embassy 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 here but it may not always be up to date: http://www.cogat.mod.gov.il/en/pages/homepage.aspx.
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).
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 Palestinian Authority announced a state of emergency for 30 days, effective March 5, 2020. On March 22, 2020, the Palestinian Authority announced new measures for 14 days that restrict movement, including mandatory home quarantine for all residents, except for workers at health care facilities, pharmacies, bakeries, grocery stores, and banks. The Palestinian Authority banned residents from movement between districts, between rural and urban areas, and between Israel-controlled areas and Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.
All tourist and religious sites have been closed. Educational institutions (schools, preschools, training centers, colleges, universities), churches, mosques, conference centers, sporting events, demonstrations, strikes, and large gatherings (possibly of 50 persons or more) have been suspended, The Palestinian Authority has requested tourists cancel their hotel reservations throughout the West Bank.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
As of March 6, 2020, the Palestinian Authority has restricted all foreigners from entering areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control until further notice.
Resident visas for individuals who legally resided in the West Bank through March 12, 2020, have been automatically extended until June 30, 2020. This extension does not apply to visitor permits, which will continue to expire on their original expiration dates.
All checkpoints between Jerusalem and Bethlehem and its surrounding suburbs in the West Bank have been closed until further notice. Additional checkpoints might be closed on short notice. 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, 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 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 here but it may not always be up to date: http://www.cogat.mod.gov.il/en/pages/homepage.aspx.
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.
Each governorate in the areas of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control has a designated quarantine location. The addiction rehabilitation center in Bethlehem is the treatment point.
There are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gaza.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
The Government of Israel has stated that dual Palestinian-foreign nationals living in Gaza will not be allowed out of Gaza via the Erez Border Crossing. 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 either at Rafah Border quarantine area or at identified schools across Gaza for a period of 21 days.
Beginning on March 19 and until further notice, the Government of Egypt suspended all international and domestic flights.
There is a quarantine point in Gaza near the Rafah Border Crossing with Egypt, as well as a number of quarantine locations within Gaza.
- Israeli Ministry of Health website(English)
- Israeli Ministry of Health Question & Answer Page
- Israel Ministry of Defense, COGAT
- Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health website (in Arabic only)
- View the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem’s Most Recent Alerts
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.