Travel Advisory – March 13, 2020

Israel and the West Bank – Level 3:  Reconsider Travel

Gaza – Level 4:  Do Not Travel

Reconsider travel to Israel and the West Bank due to travel restrictions and quarantine procedures instituted by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The Government of Israel announced that effective Thursday, March 12, 2020, at 20:00 (Israel time) foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, arriving from any country will be required to remain in home quarantine until 14 days have passed since the date of entry into Israel.  Foreign travelers, including U.S. citizens, who wish to travel to Israel should request approval by contacting the Consular Department of the closest Israeli embassy or consulate five working days prior to the planned date of arrival with travel dates, flight information, and quarantine address.  According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, in exceptional cases, one may apply to enter upon arrival subject to proof of the ability to remain in home isolation for 14 days.  Travelers are not permitted to self-quarantine in a hotel or dormitory.  The quarantine requirement also applies to Israeli citizens and residents, including dual U.S.-Israeli citizens.  The Government of Israel is continually updating its travel restrictions and quarantine policies.

In addition, the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority will deny entry to any person who is not an Israeli resident or citizen who has traveled in the last 14 days to:

  • China, Italy, South Korea (including connecting flights in these locations)
  • Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon (excluding connecting flights if you did not leave the airport)
  • France, Spain, San Marino, Andorra, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (unless you can prove that you are able to remain in home quarantine in Israel for 14 days from the date of departure from these destinations)
  • An international conference in any country

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.  Movement and travel between Palestinian districts, including Bethlehem, are restricted to emergencies only.

Border crossings may be closed with little or no advance notice.  There are reports that the following border crossings and crossing points are closed to non-Israeli or non-Palestinian citizens and residents, unless they have proof of onward departure travel from Ben Gurion (Tel Aviv) or Amman airports within six hours:

  • The Menachem Begin/Taba Border Crossing between Eilat and Taba, Egypt
  • The Allenby/King Hussein Bridge between the West Bank and Jordan
  • The Erez Crossing Point between Gaza and Israel

Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions related to COVID-19 to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Flights into or out of Israel may be cancelled with little or no advance notice.  Hotels might refuse to honor reservations for individuals suspected of COVID-19 exposure.  Several airlines have cancelled flights into and out of Israel.  Transportation options, including train service, from the airport to any location may be limited.

Visit the Israeli Ministry of Health website, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health website (in Arabic only), and the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem COVID-19 website for additional information.

Please read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Israel and/or the West Bank:

Additionally, Gaza is a Level 4 – Do not travel due to terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict.