The Israel-Egypt border into Sinai at Taba south of Eilat reopened this morning. After more than a year, Israeli vacationers can finally spend some time in Sinai relaxing on the Red Sea coast.
The border is only open to Israelis who have a vaccination or recovery certificate, so children under 16 cannot travel to Sinai. In addition, Egypt requires all visitors to present a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours. Foreign passport holders must receive a permit from the exceptions committee.
Cars cannot be taken into Sinai.
Not everybody hoping to enjoy Sinai will be able to do so. There will be a daily quota of a maximum of 300 people in each direction each day. By 10am this morning, half of today's quota had already traveled into Sinai.
Israelis wishing to visit the Egyptian peninsula must book ahead of time on the Israel Airports Authority website, stating the date of departure and return and paying a fee of NIS 101 per person. The border is open Sunday to Thursday from 8am to 4pm.
All Israelis returning home, including those who have been vaccinated or have recovered, must present a negative test at the Taba border from the previous 72 hours. There are four points in Sinai where tests can be conducted for $20: at the hospitals in Nuweiba, A-Tur and Sharm El-Sheikh and the fourth is supposed to open in the coming few days near the Taba border crossing itself. Israelis returning home with a vaccination or recovery certificate are, however, exempt from isolation.
The current daily quota applies until April 12 after which the number may be raised.
The Ministry of Health would have preferred to keep the border closed but the government has bowed to the High Court of Justice, which ruled that there was no justification for sealing Israel's borders.
Health concerns aside, it should also be remembered that Israel has issued a severe security warning advising people not to travel to Sinai.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 30, 2021
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