Updates on the Arrangements for Entering and Leaving the State of Israel
5 August 2021
In light of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health has decided to take stricter measures. Accordingly, as of Wednesday, August 11, 2021, the following countries will be added to the list of countries classified as having a “severe travel warning”:
- United States
- The Netherlands
- Czech Republic
The following countries have been removed from the list of countries with a “severe travel warning”: Seychelles, Zambia, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Uganda, Liberia, Panama and Kenya.
Note that there is an intention to significantly expand the list of countries classified as having “severe travel warning”, that returning from them will require a full period of quarantine.
The duration of quarantine for those returning from a country with a “severe travel warning” is 14 days, which may be shortened to 7 days subject to two negative COVID-19 tests and provided the following conditions are met:
- Absence of symptoms until the COVID-19 test result is received by the individual.
- The individual must receive two negative test results. The first test must be taken as soon as possible after the date the individual enters quarantine, and the second test must be taken as of the seventh day of quarantine, and at least 24 hours after the date of the first test.
We note that individuals returning from unclassified countries (i.e., countries that do not require a full period of quarantine) are required to enter quarantine until obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result, or until 24 hours have lapsed from the date of his/her entry into Israel – the earlier of the two.
In addition to the countries classified as having a “severe travel warning” and unclassified countries, the following countries are classified as “maximum risk” countries: Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Spain and Kyrgyzstan. Leaving Israel to these countries has been prohibited for Israelis, except in certain special cases as approved by the Exceptions Committee. Individuals returning from these countries are required to use technological methods of supervision throughout the period of their quarantine.
These days, the “Green Pass” regulations, which restrict entry to specific places unless an individual presents a “Green Pass” or a negative COVID-19 test, are being reinstated. Currently, these restrictions do not apply to workplaces or to employees of businesses that entry into them is limited to those who present a “Green Pass”. However, at the meeting of the Ministerial Committee for handling COVID-19, which took place on August 3, 2021, the ministers inter alia adopted a recommendation for employers in the private sector to move to a work-from-home format. Additionally, a directive was issued regarding the transition of Government offices (and where possible, the entire Public sector) to a work format of 50% workplace attendance.
We invite employers dealing with the various issues that arise from the possibility of returning to remote work to seek individualized advice in this as well as other areas (including in relation to the possible implications of expanding the “Green Pass” requirement to workplaces).
The Labour and Employment Department
Herzog Fox & Neeman