covid 19 faq

Updated July 27th, 2021

Due to COVID-19, Birthright Israel from March 2020 through April 2021 were postponed. But our trips have recently resumed, with your health and safety as our top priority. Your 10-day adventure in Israel once again awaits you. 

For all information and FAQs related to Covid 19 and Birthright Israel trips, please see below. For our general FAQs and information about the trips, signing up and more, please visit our FAQ page here

We look forward to welcoming you to Israel:

 

All FAQs are updated as of April 27th 2021 and are subject to change.

What if I arrive to Israel and don’t have anitbodies?

In the unlikely event your antibodies test is negative, you will not be able to join your group for the trip. You will be placed on the next flight back home.

What is the cancelation policy?

Until you accept a trip offer you can receive the full refund of your $250 deposit. After accepting your trip offer you can receive a full refund if you cancel at least 35 days prior to your scheduled departure date.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes. It’s mandatory for you to have travel insurance for any domestic flight to your gateway city of departure. We also recommend adding travel insurance which can cover the cost of lost/stolen baggage, cameras, phones, and so on.

Do I need a COVID-19 test before I return to the United States?

If required, prior to your return to the United States a PCR test will be organized for you in Israel.

Can I extend my flight and stay in Israel after my trip is over?

You will probably be able to extend your flight through the airline company. Keep in mind that if you are not planning to return with your group on the same flight you must make your changes before the conclusion of the trip and before the group return date. You will be responsible for your own PCR test prior to returning to the US. Note that traveling to other countries after the trip is not permitted this season because the permit they have for entering Israel is only for one entry to Israel. Participants with Israeli passport do not need a permit, so they can travel. 

Once I arrive to Israel, can I fly out of Israel and come back in time for my extended flight home?

No. Your entrance to Israel with your Birthright Israel group is a one time pass and due to COVID restrictions to enter the country, you will not be able to fly out of the country and return.

Will I need to take an antibodies test in Israel?

Yes. An antibodies (serological) test will be required upon your arrival in Israel and is performed using a blood sample. According to the Government of Israel guidelines, only participants whose serological test shows antibodies will be allowed on the trip. Birthright Israel will coordinate and cover the administration of the test upon arrival.  

Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before I travel?

Yes, you must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure.

Did Israel return to normal life?

Yes. While certain precautions like wearing a mask in certain locations are still in place, restaurants, hotels, cultural events and sites are open.

Are most people in Israel vaccinated?

Yes. Currently Israel is leading in vaccination rates and the majority of the population over the age of 16 are already vaccinated.

How will my trip be different from a regular trip due to COVID-19?

As it always has been for the last 21 years of operation, the safety and well-being of our participants and staff is our highest priority and foremost concern. The group will need to patiently wait for the PCR and serological test results before traveling to sites, all of the participants and staff will be fully vaccinated, most of the flights to Israel will be direct, your Birthright Israel group will have fewer participants, you will spend more time outdoors and visit sites that abide by the high standards of Israel’s Ministry of Health. Other than that, we can assure you that we will take all necessary measures to ensure a safe, fun and enjoyable Birthright Israel experience.

How is Birthright Israel making its health and safety decisions?

We are working closely with Israel’s Ministry of Health and will maintain the highest level of precautions on our trips  and adjust whenever necessary.

Do I need to have had a COVID-19 vaccine to participate?

Yes, the government of Israel determines which tourists can enter Israel and we follow their guidelines. Birthright Israel participants that enter Israel must be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 FDA authorized vaccine. Travel is possible 7 days after the final vaccine has been administered. You’ll need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, you will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test. We will provide for both tests for you. *Documented verification of vaccine is required. Please update your COVID-19 status in your application.

Are Birthright Israel trips resuming this summer?

Yes! While entry to Israel continues to be extremely limited, Birthright Israel participants who are fully vaccinated or recovered (with one vaccine) from COVID-19 are allowed into the country. We’re working closely with Israel’s Ministry of Health and adhering to all its guidelines. You’ll need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test which was taken within 72 hours of departure and, upon arrival in Israel, you will need to take an additional PCR test as well as a serological (antibodies) test, which we will provide for you.

I see that Israel delayed entrance to Israel for individual vaccinated tourist. Does that include my upcoming trip?

No. While the entry to Israel continues to be extremely limited and individual tourist entrance is postponed, Birthright Israel trips continue as planned. 

Before I go on my Birthright Israel trip I am planning to visit other countries. Is this ok?

Due to the increased spread of COVID-19 variants around the world, all participants who visit a destination that has a high COVID-19 risk or warning 14 days prior to their Birthright Israel departure will not be able to join a trip. This restriction does not apply to vaccinated or recovered participants who transit through these destinations and stay for 12 hours or less in the airport transit area. Please note the list of high-risk countries can change.  

Do I need health insurance?

Yes. It’s mandatory for you to have health insurance that is valid in Israel for the duration of the trip and also covers COVID-19. If you already have extended health coverage, or you purchase a plan for this trip, you’ll be required to submit this information to your Trip Organizer.

 

If you plan to extend your trip, make sure that you’ll be covered for the whole duration of your trip. If you don’t have medical insurance and are purchasing insurance for the sole purpose of this trip, you may want to consider supplementary coverage for the continuation of treatment/care in your home country if required when you return home. 

 

While your Trip Organizer will provide basic travelers’ health insurance while you are in Israel (which is secondary to your personal coverage), it does NOT cover:

  • Medical care for preexisting conditions
  • Medical evacuation
  • Coverage when you return home if needed.
I applied for a Birthright Israel last year but trips were canceled due to COVID-19 and now I’m older than 32. Can I still go?

Yes! If you already created your account last year and are now over 32 you can still go this summer as an exception. If you are having a problem logging into your application please contact us at info@birthrightisrael.com.