by Shira Hanau
(JTA) — Israel will allow unvaccinated tourists to enter the country beginning March 1 as the county’s COVID case numbers continue to decline, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced Sunday.
Tourists will still need to produce negative PCR tests before and after their flights, while Israelis will only need to take a test upon landing.
The more lax rules mean that children under the age of five who are ineligible to be vaccinated can now enter the country. Only fully vaccinated tourists have been allowed in since January.
The changes came as Israel’s government also ended its Green Pass program, which allowed only those who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID to enter public venues. The government decided last week not to renew the program when it expires March 1 due to the country’s declining COVID rate.
“This wave is breaking,” Bennett said, according to The Times of Israel. “We are seeing a decline in the number of severely ill.”