Foreign travel advice

Israel

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Entry requirements

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry and borders

The Israeli authorities have announced that with effect from 18 March, foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter unless they are citizens or residents of Israel. Limited exceptions do apply. You should submit all requests for permission to enter Israel directly to the Israeli Embassy in London.

Check Israeli Population and Immigration Authority pages for full details. Further restrictions may be introduced at short notice.

Land crossings

Restrictions also apply at land crossings between Israel and Jordan, and between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan:

  • The Allenby/King Hussein Bridge Crossing between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan is closed in both directions
  • The Jordan River / Sheikh Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin/ Wadi Arraba crossings between Jordan and Israel are closed in both directions

You may face delays or restrictions at Israeli controlled checkpoints around the West Bank, including when attempting to leave the West Bank. See Coronavirus

Transiting

Transiting via Israeli airports in order to travel on to other destinations is not currently permitted.

Testing on arrival

Upon arrival at the airport, your temperature will be taken. You must be able to prove you can enter isolation at home or another available dwelling in full compliance with the isolation guidance. If you are unable to do so, you will be sent to a state-sponsored hotel for isolation. It is recommended you complete a Home/Motel Isolation Self-Report prior to arrival.

You must not use public transport to travel to your dwelling, except a single-passenger taxi, provided you sit in the back of the taxi with the windows open. Family members arriving together may travel together as long as everyone sits in the back.

Quarantine requirements

All international travellers must enter 14-day self-isolation. Upon arrival at an airport in Israel, international travellers must be able to prove they can enter isolation at home or another available dwelling in full compliance with the isolation guidance. If you are unable to do so, you will be sent to a state-sponsored hotel for isolation.

Data collection

You must be able to prove you can enter isolation at home or another available dwelling in full compliance with the isolation guidance. If you are unable to do so, you will be sent to a state-sponsored hotel for isolation. It is recommended you complete a Home/Motel Isolation Self-Reportprior to arrival.

Testing on departure

Your temperature will be taken in order to allow your entry into the airport on departure. Only passengers will be allowed into the airport.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You don’t need a visa to enter Israel as a tourist. On entry, visitors are granted leave to enter for a period of up to 3 months.

Visitors entering via Ben Gurion airport are given an entry card instead of an entry stamp in their passport. While this practice is in place at other ports of entry, there have been instances where passports have been stamped for entry purposes. You should keep your entry card with your passport until you leave. This is evidence of your legal entry into Israel and may be required, particularly at any crossing points into the Occupied Palestinian Territories. If you’re refused entry into Israel, your passport may be stamped with an entry stamp and two red lines drawn across it to indicate the refusal.

It is for the Israeli authorities to determine the right of entry into Israel, if you have any particular concerns about visas or entry into Israel, you should contact the Israeli Embassy in London. If you work in Israel without the proper authority, you can be detained and then deported, a process which could take several months. Consular staff will not be able to help you enter Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They are unable get involved in another country’s immigration policy or procedures.

At the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan, as well as at Ben Gurion Airport, Israeli border officials have on occasions used an entry stamp for certain travellers that states ‘Palestinian Authority only’ or ‘Judea and Samaria only’. Since travellers entering via the Allenby Bridge crossing must pass through Israeli checkpoints and Israeli-controlled territory to reach Jerusalem or Gaza, this restriction effectively limits travellers who receive this stamp. It is not clear how a traveller receiving the stamp at Ben Gurion Airport can leave the airport without violating the restriction. This stamp has been issued to travellers who have no Palestinian or other Arab ancestry, and who would not seem to have any claim to a Palestinian Authority ID.

Israeli border officials at Ben Gurion Airport have also at times required certain travellers to sign a form that states that he/she is not allowed to enter territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority unless he/she obtains advance authorisation from the Israeli ‘Territory Actions Co-ordinator’, and that violating this restriction may result in the traveller being deported from Israel and barred from entry for up to 10 years.

In March 2017 the Israeli Parliament passed a law which gives authority to deny entry to foreign nationals who have publicly called for a boycott of Israel and/or settlements, or who belong to an organisation which has called for a boycott. Contact the Israeli embassy if you need further information.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories unless the holder is a returning resident. However, ETDs are accepted for airside transit and exit from Israel.

Previous travel to other countries

Evidence of a previous visit to another country in the region like an entry/exit stamp in your passport does not normally prevent entry into Israel, although it may lead to additional questioning at the border. It is for the Israeli authorities to determine the right of entry into Israel, so if you have any particular concerns about previous travel to another country, you should contact the Israeli Embassy in London.

Customs and Immigration

You should expect lengthy personal questioning and baggage searches by security officials on arrival and departure from Israel. Electrical items, including laptops, may be taken from departing passengers for security inspection and either stored in the aircraft baggage hold, or returned to you in the UK. Damage may occur.

If you arrive with valuable personal items (computers, camcorders etc.) you may be required to pay a deposit that is refundable on or after departure.

Israeli security officials have on occasion requested access to travellers’ personal e-mail accounts or other social media accounts as a condition of entry.

Entering the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including by sea to Gaza, is controlled by the Israeli authorities. You must produce a passport and immigration slip, to cross between Israel and the OPTs.

You may be detained on arrival and deported if you are intending to enter Gaza without permission. If you’re entering the country for the purpose of working in the OPTs, you may be refused entry.

The FCO is not able to support individuals applying for entry or exit permits for Gaza. If you decide to visit Gaza against FCO advice, you will need to contact the relevant Israeli authorities well in advance. If your entry to Gaza is via the Rafah crossing, you will need to contact the relevant Egyptian authorities in advance. The FCO is no longer able to provide administrative support for UK charities wishing to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing. The Rafah border regularly closes with no warning and for long periods of time. At these times it may be impossible to enter or leave Gaza.

For more information, contact the nearest Israeli Embassy.

British nationals of Palestinian origin

If you’re a British national of Palestinian origin (on the Palestinian Population Register or holding a Palestinian ID number), you will need a Palestinian passport or travel document in order to leave. If you are a British national with a Palestinian name or place of birth but without a Palestinian ID number, you may face problems. A number of British nationals of Palestinian origin or British nationals married to Palestinians have been refused entry to the country.

Dual nationals

British-Palestinian dual nationals living in the West Bank and Gaza are allowed to travel abroad only via the Rafah or Allenby Bridge border crossings into Egypt or Jordan and return via the same route.

Children with Israeli parents (father and/or mother) are considered to be Israeli nationals. The Israeli Ministry of Interior insists that these children enter and leave Israel on an Israeli passport.