Hotels in Eilat and the Dead Sea will be able to reopen after the Knesset last night passed the Tourist Islands Law with 26 MKs voting in favor and none against. The path of the legislation was not smooth with Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein withdrawing it earlier in the week after the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justrice Committee introduced an amendment that would have allowed more cities to be added to the legislation. After a frantic round of meetings and attempts at mediation, the law was passed in its original format allowing only hotels in Eilat and the Dead Sea to reopen.
However, the government did agree to easing restrictions in the areas around the hotels in Eilat and the Dead Sea, allowing businesses such as restaurants, cafes, bars and tourist attractions to reopen.
Guests entering Eilat or the Ein Bokek hotel zone by the Dead Sea will be required to show a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours. Residents and hotel workers will be required to show a negative test once a week when entering Eilat or Ein Bokek.
Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein said, "This law is designed to save Eilat in the way that we have also succeeded in helping hotels in the Dead Sea region. I'm happy that all the attempts to put other issues into this law did not succeed."
Minister of Tourism Orit Farkash-Hacohen said, "The law enacted today has been returned to its format balancing health, tourism and economic considerations, as it should be. The law provides a solution for tens of thousands of Israelis in this complex time."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 12, 2020
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