Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: 12 January 2022 at 9:50 a.m. Israeli time

As substantial changes have been made to the Travel Advisory since 9 January 2022, it is important that you review this page in its entirety.  

The most recent guidance from the Universal House of Justice regarding pilgrimage and brief visits to the Bahá’í World Centre is provided below.  On this page you may also view information regarding Travel Restrictions, including:

As regulations may frequently change, you are strongly advised to regularly review this page, and monitor the entry requirements of the government of Israel, as well as the travel advisories issued by your own countries and the airlines with which you intend to travel.


The following extract is from a letter dated 29 October 2021 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies.

"In the letter dated 8 July 2021 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, the hope was expressed that brief visitors would before long be invited to the Holy Land and that the new pilgrimage season would begin in January 2022.  In this regard, the House of Justice has asked us to convey the following.

Although the world-wide coronavirus pandemic continues to be a source of considerable concern, the increasing availability of effective vaccines and testing in many parts of the world means that it is now possible for immunized individuals to travel to and gain entry to the Holy Land.  Furthermore, the health regulations currently in place in Israel are not expected to have an impact on the free movement of visitors and the scheduled activities of pilgrims.  Accordingly, the House of Justice is happy to once again welcome pilgrims to the Holy Land starting from Monday, 17 January 2022.

Before then, however, the friends will be able to pay brief visits to the Bahá’í World Centre in the period from Wednesday, 1 December 2021 to sunset on Sunday, 26 December 2021 and then from Saturday, 8 January 2022 onward; that is, from after the end of the Centenary Commemoration of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá up until the arrival of participants for the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors and Auxiliary Board Members and again, indefinitely, after the close of the Conference.

Information regarding immunization requirements and any future changes to conditions and restrictions will be available on the pilgrimage website at pilgrimage.bwc.org and will be communicated to pilgrims and visitors who may be affected.  In addition, friends are strongly advised to monitor the entry requirements of the government of Israel and the travel advisories issued by authorities in their own countries.

Be assured of the prayers of the House of Justice at the Sacred Threshold that the friends of God will, once again, have the possibility of visiting the Holy Shrines."


TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Visitors are able to travel to Israel as long as they meet certain conditions related to immunity and COVID-19 testing.  Certain regulations apply for entry into Israel, upon arrival, and on departure from Israel.  Visitors must review the regulations in place for departing from and returning to their own countries.

a. Requirements for Entry into Israel

i.  Who may enter Israel
As of 9 January 2022, visitors who meet the following conditions may enter Israel:
    • Those who have completed a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine course or received a WHO approved booster within 180 days of their arrival in Israel.
      OR
    • Those who have recovered from COVID-19 and hold a European Union (EU) equivalent recovery certificate based on a positive NAAT (a test that detects genetic material, such as PCR).
    • These requirements apply to both adults and children, regardless of age.
    • Entry is only possible through Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv or Ramon Airport in Eilat (not via the land or sea border crossings with Egypt and Jordan).
ii.  Approved Vaccination Course
Israel recognizes the following as a completed vaccination course:
    • Vaccinated with a WHO approved vaccine - Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Astra ZenecaCovishield, Sinovak, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson -  according to the following conditions:
    • Vaccinated with two doses (or one dose in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) with the latest vaccine received at least 14 days before arrival in Israel but no more than 180 days at the day of departure from Israel; OR
    • Vaccinated with the booster dose received at least 14 days before arrival in Israel but no more than 180 days at the date of their departure from Israel or until 28 February 2022, whichever is later.
    • A combination of vaccine types is recognized as vaccinated, and the day of vaccination is not counted when calculating the number of days.
    • Vaccinated with the Sputnik vaccine according to the following requirements:
      • Received two doses at least 14 days before arrival to Israel but no more than one month at the date of their departure from Israel and have tested positive on a serological test taken upon arrival in Israel.
iii.  Recovery Certificate
In addition to what is listed above, the following are required before departure to Israel:
    • Recovered from COVID in the last 6 months and able to present a digital recovery certificate* based on a positive result to a PCR test (or an equivalent based on NAAT) or a rapid (antigen) test taken at least 11 days prior to their departure to Israel but not more than 190 days on the date of their departure from Israel; OR
    • Recovered from COVID, able to present a digital recovery certificate and have received at least 1 dose of a WHO approved vaccine.  
    • In both cases, individuals are considered recovered within six months of the issuing date of the certificate of recovery.
*The list of countries that issue digital recovery certification that can be verified by the Ministry of Health is available here.
iv.  Additional Requirements to Enter Israel
In addition to what is listed above, the following are required before departure to Israel:
  1. Negative results to a PCR test taken in the 72 hours before departure to Israel; OR
    Negative results to a rapid (antigen) test, administered by professional testers, within 24 hours before departure to Israel; OR
  2. Positive results to a PCR test taken at least 11 days and no more than 3 months before departure to Israel, for those who have recovered from COVID-19.
    Note: All test results must be in English.
    AND
  3. An Entry Statement Form submitted online within 48 hours of departure to Israel.  The form is available at https://www.gov.il/en/service/request-entry-to-israel-covid19.  As part of the form visitors will either:
    • Enter their vaccinations and attach the vaccination confirmations.  If vaccination meets the immunity requirements the visitors will receive a green pass before boarding the flight; OR
    • Upload an approved digital vaccination or recovery certificate and receive a green pass before boarding the flight.

b. Upon Arrival in Israel

Upon arrival in Israel, all travellers must take a PCR test at the airport.   This is required to leave the airport.
    • The PCR test at the airport costs NIS 115 if paying in cash (foreign currencies are not accepted); NIS 100 if paying at the airport by credit card, or NIS 80 if prepaid using this link https://testngo.femi.com/en/sign-in.
    • Travellers entering based on having received the Sputnik  vaccine will need to have a PCR test and a serology (antibody) test at Ben Gurion airport upon arrival in Israel.   Visitors must remain in isolation until testing negative on the PCR test and positive on the antibody test.  Travellers whose antibody test is negative will be required to quarantine in their hotel, or a government contracted quarantine hotel, for 14 days or return to their country of origin.
    • After leaving the airport, all visitors must go to their accommodation and remain in isolation until results of their tests are received.  This can take up to 24 hours but usually takes less.
    • Visitors who are confirmed as COVID-19 patients during their stay in Israel will be transported by ambulance to a managed isolation facility for their recovery period and will pay the expenses of the ambulance transport, stay in the managed isolation facility and medical care.
    • Visitors are currently not permitted to use public transportation to travel to their accommodation.  They may use taxis on condition that both driver and passengers wear masks with open windows or travel by hired car.

c. Departure from Israel

The following are required before departure from Israel:

  1. Negative results to a PCR test (estimated cost is NIS 100) according to the requirements of the airlines you are travelling with and the country to which you are travelling to; 
    AND
  2. An Exit Statement submitted online up to 24 hours before departure.  The form is available at https://www.gov.il/en/service/request-depart-from-israel-covid19.

Please note that masks are required to be worn in most buildings in Israel including Ben Gurion airport, the Bahá’í World Centre and the Holy Places.  Health regulations that apply during your time in Israel will be explained during registration.