Event: COVID-19 – Air Travel Update
The Israeli government announced updated travel restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19.
- Beginning Tuesday, January 26 at 12:00 a.m. and set to expire on Saturday, February 20, Ben-Gurion Airport will close to all travelers both entering and exiting Israel due to a ban on incoming flights. Exceptions may be available for a humanitarian need, a special personal reason, a funeral of a close family member, medical treatment, and/or returning to your country of origin.
Regulations related to COVID-19 have been subject to frequent change and we anticipate that continuing to be the case. U.S. citizens in Israel are encouraged to visit the Israeli Ministry of Health’s website for the most up to date information.
Please see the following websites for more information:
- February 5 press release: https://www.gov.il/en/departments/news/05022021-02
- Request permission to fly from Israel during the lockdown: https://survey.gov.il/he/Entrances
- January 24 press release: https://www.gov.il/en/departments/news/spoke_joint240121
- February 1 press release: https://www.gov.il/en/departments/news/spoke_joint010221
- Israeli Ministry of Health: https://govextra.gov.il/ministry-of-health/corona/corona-virus-en/
COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Air Travel to the United States: Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents) to present a negative viral test (NAAT or antigen test), taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding and must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. Passenger Attestation Form (PDF/3 pages). Please see CDC’s FAQ and the Embassy’s COVID-19 webpage for more information about the new requirement.
If you are planning to return to the United States, you should contact your airline for specific information about testing requirements for travelers. Because airlines may adopt and modify their own specific policies to implement CDC’s new rule, you should contact the carrier for your U.S.-bound flight and not rely on information from other carriers or information or experience from previous trips.
Testing resources: The Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) maintains a list of medical centers for viral COVID-19 testing. Many local hospitals, clinics, and laboratories offer testing for travel purposes. Travelers are responsible for the costs of their own tests and any associated medical care. Please ensure that the test provider you choose will provide test results that comply with CDC guidelines and those of your airline.
Reduced Consular Services: The health and safety of those who work at and visit our embassy facilities are our highest priority. U.S. Embassy Jerusalem’s ability to provide consular services is limited due to reduced in-person staffing and health protocols that mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Appointment availability is strictly limited due to social distancing requirements in our offices and public waiting rooms. Current MOH guidance restricts indoor gatherings to only five people which restricts how many appointments can be seen each day. U.S. citizens may encounter delays in obtaining passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. All services are available by appointment only.
Passport Renewal by Mail: All eligible passport renewal applicants must apply for full validity passports by mail (or commercial courier). Please review the requirements to renew a regular or emergency passport.
For applicants who are not eligible to renew by mail, all applicants require their own appointments. Due to the limited number of appointments available, there may be no openings visible on our website. A limited number of appointments will continue to become available on a rolling basis and are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Non-emergency appointments must be booked on-line and cannot be booked through email or telephone. If you cannot find an open appointment please continue to check our website for further availability and cancellations. On day(s) where no more appointments are available, this means all appointments have already been scheduled and we cannot add more due to health and safety measures. All visitors to the embassy, and branch office over the age of seven must wear a mask. All appointments are subject to change and cancellation based on local health conditions.
If you have a medical emergency or death/serious illness of an immediate family member (life-or-death emergency) and no appointments are available at our website prior to your flight, please write to the appropriate consular office (JerusalemACS@state.gov or TelAvivACS@state.gov). Please include the following in your email, in order to request an emergency appointment:
- Confirmed travel itinerary with confirmation/ticket number
- Documentation of the emergency (typically a hospital or police report)
- Scanned copy of the bio page of all passports needing renewal
Actions to Take:
- All U.S. citizens should register in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- Visit the Internal Revenue Service Coronavirus Tax Relief sitefor the most up-to-date information regarding economic impact payments and other tax information.
- Consult the CDC websitefor the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis pageon travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Information about local conditions related to COVID-19 is also available from the S. Embassy in Jordanand the U.S. Embassy in Egypt.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s websiteon the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
U.S. Embassy Jerusalem
14 David Flusser St.
U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv
71 HaYarkon St.
State Department – Consular Affairs
Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Country Information
Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Travel Advisory
Enroll in Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates