The doors are opening up again in Israel as the Omicron wave of COVID-19 subsides. The Israel Health Ministry announced on Wednesday that several travel restrictions will be lifted, perhaps as soon as next week.
Travelers will no longer have to present a negative test before boarding to return to Israel. However, everyone will still be required to take a COVID test once they land—but the results should be known in about four hours. Also, unvaccinated travelers will no longer be required to quarantine when returning from travel abroad.
More restrictions that were put back into place when Omicron flooded in may be lifted starting March 1.
Israel could once again open up to tourists—including children who are not vaccinated. And the Green Pass system will be removed. Restrictions and policies for children in school and the indoor mask mandate will even be revisited sometime next week.
Serious cases continue to drop—the number has dipped down below 1000 for the first time in weeks. As of Wednesday, there were only 911 Israelis in critical condition in the hospital due to COVID.
And as Israel begins to exit the Omicron wave, Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv, is set to become the first non-US facility to conduct a new trial Pfizer is running for an Omicron-specific version of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
The study will look at the immune response, safety, and how well people tolerate a higher dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, a potential new Omicron-based vaccine, and a combination of both. The shots will be given as a fourth vaccination dose to around 200 adult volunteers age 60 and older.