Israel’s Gradual Return to Normalcy


Due to the significant decrease in the number of active coronavirus cases in Israel in the past weeks, a press conference was held on May 4, 2020 led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Ministers.  The government presented the Israeli exit strategy from the Coronavirus crisis. The strategy includes a gradual and responsible return to normality, while controlling the Coronavirus pandemic.

In the past two months, Israel has been facing the COVID-19 crisis, together with the rest of the world. In March, Israel has closed its borders and skies to non-citizens in the hopes of minimalizing the virus spread in Israel. Currently, the only flights allowed into the country are flights intended for transitioning of necessary equipment and the return of Israeli citizens to Israel.

These days Israel is gradually reducing restrictions and preparing for a new “Corona routine”. The government has published a 4-step plan to be executed from May through mid-June, subject to the continuous improvement in active cases rates. These are the main factors:

Domestic tourism: In a special meeting convened to discuss the return of the tourism industry to activity, it was agreed that on Sunday, May 3, 2020, Bed & Breakfast accommodations (especially in the rural tourism areas) will return to operate, provided they follow the recommended “Purple Guidelines” agreed upon by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Tourism.
“Purple Guidelines” objective: Accommodation facilities will be held to high standards of cleaning, training of work staff according to the new guidelines, upgrading of air ventilation systems, reducing crowd-gathering and offering special bookings and cancellation terms.

Work: All public sector and private sector employees may return to work, subject to the guidelines.
Education: The education system in Israel is gradually returning to activity, starting with elementary schools (grades 1-3rd, limited number of children in each classroom) and high school (grades 11-12th, studying for their final exams in small groups). By the end of May it is planned that all students in Israel will return to full educational activity including schools, universities, libraries etc.
Leisure and Sport: all points below are subject to relevant guidelines
1. Parks and nature reserves will open for visitors starting May 4
2. Gyms are planned to open by May 7
3. Outdoor sports are allowed for individuals and couples
4. Stores of all sectors and sizes can open for business
5. Shopping Malls will open by May 7
6. Museums will open on May 17
7. Swimming pools and Amusement Parks will open by the end of May
Theatres, Cinema, restaurants and competitive sports will return to activity by mid-June.

Israel offers a plethora of things to do and see to cater to the discerning traveller.  Tourism to Israel has steadily grown with 2019 seeing a record of 4.5 million international tourists.  From the historical city of Jerusalem to the beach city of Tel Aviv; the lowest point on earth – Dead Sea, to the marvelous underwater marine life of Red Sea in Eilat and the World UNESCO Heritage sites all across the country, Israel is truly a dynamic destination.