The tourism industry is getting excited as the well-discussed 'green islands' have actually been opened up to visitors! Here is what we have found out!
As of Nov 19, 2020:
Zoos will reopen:
As always, check online before you go as most places require signing up before you go. The zoos, which include the Ramat Gan Safari and the Biblical Zoo and Aquarium in Jerusalem will operate according to the Purple Standard. Do not forget to wear your mask at all times and maintain 2m distance from others!
The Green Islands of Eilat & Dead Sea
In these areas:
- Restaurants with outdoor seating will be allowed to let customers sit down outside, up to max 50 people.
- Outdoor tourist attractions, will be allowed to open (such as Dolphin Reef) aslong as they adhere to the purple standard regulations.
- Street shops and outdoor shopping centers will be open, with one person per 7 square meters allowed and a maximum of up to 20 people.
Regarding the operation of dining rooms and pools in accommodation facilities intended for guests of the accommodation: Occupancy of up to 50% of the allowable occupancy in the dining room and in the swimming pool - the number of people must not exceed one person per 6 sq.m.
How can you get entry to the green islands?
Anyone wishing to enter Eilat, or the Dead Sea area from Tuesday 17 November, will be required to present a negative coronavirus test that was taken within the last 72 hours at the entrance to the city.
LOVELOVEISRAEL TIP: Any trips outside the city/area need to be within 72 hours of taking the test otherwise you would need another test. Keep this in mind when planning your Eilat break as any activities outside the city would need proof of negative test with 72 hours upon reentering.
*Negative test results are required for all vacationers (Check if this changes but at the moment it says from the age of 3).
*The tests can be performed free of charge, at all the test points in Israel including ′′ check and go ′′ complexes.
*Those who have had Coronavirus will be exempted at this point from the Corona test but will need to present a ′′ recovering ′′ certificate. A final decision on this will be made in the coronavirus cabinet regulations - so keep checking this point if relevant.
*The negative examination approval must be presented at the entrance checkpoint to the city, both on highway 90 (through the arava) and on highway 12 (Mitzpe Ramon Road)
*There is a duty to present a negative corona test on both the pilots to Eilat and the passengers in public transport (buses / taxis).
*The tourists and vacationers that stay in the city hotels, will need to present the negative test results also in the check-in position at the hotel.
*We will not allow entry to the city of Eilat for tourists vacationing and visitors, without a negative corona test presentation.
*Residents of Eilat and the Arava, and whoever comes to Eilat for work purposes (such as doctors, lecturers, suppliers) will need one quick examination for 7 days (clarifications to come).
*For the residents of Eilat, as well as those who enter in the framework of work, there will be 2 quick testing positions, one at the Ramon airport (act 24/7) and the other near the Neot Smadar Junction on Highway 90 from 7:00-22:00 (These seem to be the Eilat boundaries)
* The speed tests will be performed by MDA using ′′ Sofia ′′ devices. The results of the test will be given within 15 minutes.
*Soldiers in uniform and security and rescue forces will be exempt from testing.
*The Eilat residents authority will operate in the next two weeks, ′′ Check and go ′′ complex for corona tests. The compound will operate in the parking plaza near the Rabin High School between 15:00-22:00. This complex will also be used for survey tests of the hotel workers.
*Eilat Municipality held in increased forces at the entrance checkpoint to the city, in order to prevent the unnecessary waiting as possible, is also held with a technological array, that will streamline the checkpoint process and save time.
There will be no entry to the Ein Bokek Hotel zone without proof of a negative test result within the past 72 hours! They do not have testing there.
Travelling to these areas by Public Transport
As per this link on Egged's FB page, "Every passenger who wishes to reach the city of Eilat must obtain a valid negative test or exemption from corona inspection permit in advance, according to the law.
As part of the program, these permits will be inspected at the entrance checkpoint to Eilat (Road No. 90). A passenger who does not hold a valid inspection permit or is exempt by law - gets off the bus and the bus will continue to Eilat as planned, without said passenger.
The Ministry of Transportation has no responsibility to provide a solution for that passenger!"
The main thing is, that while having a test is uncomfortable for a few seconds, these areas are primarily tourist areas, and this is a way for them to open up and earn some money again after so long.
Let's hope that they can stay open and be a model for the rest of the county's hotels...and eventually allow in foreign tourists too.
Don't forget that once you enter these areas you are still required to adhere to wearing your mask, 2meter distances and all other regulations.