2021 is finally here and along with it, the much anticipated Covid-19 vaccinations. While Israel continues to quickly administer vaccinations to its citizens, Israel’s Ministry of Health has been simultaneously planning for what “normal” life might look like for residents after they have received those two precious doses. Opting to take the incentivizing route, the Ministry has proposed a “green passport” concept. With the goal to encourage people to get vaccinated, the “green passport” essentially acts as the golden ticket to cultural and social events and venues in Israel.
So what exactly is this “green passport” and how does it work?
Those who have been vaccinated or have documented proof that they recovered from Covid-19 will be eligible for a 6 month pass to various events or venues with large gatherings. Examples include: sporting events, museums, malls, restaurants, concerts, conferences and hotels. Arguably one of the more tantalizing benefits of the “green passport” is the exemption from quarantine upon return to Israel from abroad.
Those who were not vaccinated but tested negative for the virus will only be eligible for a temporary 72 hour passport.
If you are imagining a physical green passport, think again. Every Israeli likes a good smartphone application, and the “green passport” is just that. The Ministry of Health disclosed a demo of the “green passport” application, giving the public an idea of what lies in store for them. While it will initially only be offered in Hebrew, Russian, Arabic and Amharic, an English language version is set to be released at a later date.
After downloading the application to your phone, users will be asked to create a profile based on a variety of factors, among them: your age, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, and if you work in the field of healthcare. Admittedly the exciting part comes when you get to choose your areas of interest (you can choose from 12 options, among them: religion, athletics, art, tourism and shopping) as the application actually recommends events and venues that align with your interests!
What’s exciting is that other countries are taking notice of this concept. Israel’s Minister of Health, Yuli Edelstein, recently stated that, “I talked to my counterparts in other countries and they were very enthusiastic about the idea of the green passport, working to create an international alliance that would allow the movement of citizens to have a green passport. The potential for issuing it is huge (Jerusalem Post).”
The future is bright and we at Via Sabra are excited for how you, too, can benefit from Israel’s reopening during your next trip to Israel. Learn more and book your tour today!