TORONTO — The Israel Ministry of Tourism is now taking preliminary steps to reopen its domestic tourism sector.
The decision was made at a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 27 to discuss the return of the tourism industry amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
It was agreed that starting May 3, 2020, hotels and accommodations with ground-floor rooms will return to operate as the first step in the tourism industry’s plans to reopen.
Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that the country remains cautious about the protocols in place to safeguard its population during the pandemic. Reopening the tourism sector will be subject to several measurable health and safety factors, with guidelines for operating hotels and accommodations to be released in the coming days.
“This is good news for thousands of business owners and workers in the tourism industry, which for the first time since the outbreak of the crisis have a date set up for their return to activity,” said Netanyahu.
Minister Yariv Levin also said: “The decision to gradually reopen the tourism sector is an important one and shows the great importance of this industry. We hope that we will be also able to welcome Canadians soon to experience amazing Israel.”
Israel was one of the first countries to implement complete lockdown measures at the start of the global pandemic. Measures included grounding all flights in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport, closing all land border crossings as well as shuttering hotels and other modes of accommodations. The government credits its quick response for the reason why the recovery process is even possible today.