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I am flying from Cyprus to Dubai with a 2.5 hour layover in Tel Aviv airport. Am I allowed to do this with the COVID restrictions? I am fully vaccinated and will have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old. My friend said no connections are allowed in Tel Aviv?

EDIT I only have hand luggage and the flights are with Ryan air and El Al

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    At the very least you'll have to tell us whether the two flights are on a single ticket and whether you have checked luggage.
    – jcaron
    Sep 13, 2021 at 10:49
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    I only have hand luggage and the flights are with Ryan air and El Al Sep 13, 2021 at 10:55
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    Also, what's your citizenship, and did you stay in any other countries than Cyprus recently?
    – jcaron
    Sep 13, 2021 at 11:03
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    When are you travelling? Rules change all the time, of course.
    – jcaron
    Sep 13, 2021 at 11:25
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    Note that the visa requirement discussed on that page is strictly only for immigration purposes. It does not include COVID-related restrictions. It's very difficult to guess what the rules will bee by October 27th. The current plan is to relax restrictions a little, but predictions have turned out very wrong a large number of times since the beginning of the pandemic.
    – jcaron
    Sep 13, 2021 at 13:37

2 Answers 2

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Timatic (the database used by airlines to determine eligibility and required documentation -- note that I randomly picked UK citizenship, you may want to "change search" to get results for your actual citizenship) currently states:

Admission and Transit Restrictions:

Passengers are not allowed to enter and transit.

Information: This does not apply to passengers with an authorization letter issued by the Population and Immigration Authority.

Information: This does not apply to passengers with an A1 or A5 visa issued by Israel.

Information: This does not apply to passengers with an A2, A3, A4, B1, B3 or B4 visa issued by Israel, if they are not arriving from Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Russian Fed., South Africa, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom or Uzbekistan.

(emphasis mine)

Since you're arriving from Cyprus, the last case does not apply to you, so the only way you could enter or transit would be to have "an authorization letter issued by the Population and Immigration Authority" or "an A1 or A5 visa issued by Israel".

Note that even though you have no checked baggage:

  • Since your two flight are booked separately, for Ryanair your final destination is Tel Aviv, so you need documentation to enter Israel, not just transit airside;

  • For at least El Al flights departing from TLV you need to be present at the check-in desk at least one hour before departure, even if you check-in online (which these days is anyway often impossible), so again, you'll need to enter Israel.

It doesn't really change things in your case anyway since the prohibition is the same for entry and transit into Israel.

Note that even if you had a permit, you would need to undergo mandatory quarantine for 24 hours or until a negative test result, and leaving Israel before the end of the quarantine is not allowed.

Note that changes are planned for 14 September (Cyprus moves from orange to yellow list), 19 September (entry allowed for groups of 5 or more fully vaccinated), October (group tours for individual travelers) but as far as I can see no changes are planned for transit yet.

Also note that in addition to COVID-related restrictions, you may need a visa to enter Israel even for transit (TWOV doesn't apply here), depending on your citizenship.

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  • Hello, as far as i know i meet the criteria to enter Israel so assume I will be able to get a letter. I wasn't aware there were countries where TWOV wasn't possible so that is very concerning Sep 13, 2021 at 12:55
  • Luckily i do have connection protection so if i cannot make my second flight it is covered by the company i purchased both tickets with Sep 13, 2021 at 12:56
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    I'm not sure what makes you think you meet the criteria? The list of reasons that allow you to get the authorisation letter is very limited (family members of Israel citizens, weddings, funerals, urgent life-saving medical procedures...). It does not include transit, and has lots of additional requirements (test on arrival, quarantine until the result of the test, getting an electronic bracelet, not being allowed to leave before the end of the quarantine, health insurance...). Unless the rules change by then, it is very unlikely you will get the letter or be allowed to board.
    – jcaron
    Sep 13, 2021 at 13:47
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    I seriously doubt "connection protection" will cover anything in this case. You are not likely to even board the first flight. I very strongly recommend you look into your options to rebook to a different itinerary, ideally as a single ticket.
    – jcaron
    Sep 13, 2021 at 13:48
  • I smell a certain rotten fruit here... If this was indeed purchased through Kiwi the OP is not really protected. Kiwi's promises are not really worth a lot. And Ryanair has decided to make life very hard for people who book through Kiwi. Sep 24, 2021 at 10:23
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Just regarding transit, since it is a different PNR, you have to call the checking gate and pray that they will send someone to open the connections door, they really do not like, in Sep 2018, according to this, 142 did a connection in TLV! More into here: https://flying-out.com/2018/10/23/tlv-connection/

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  • This seems to completely miss the point of the question and the existing answer which is about what happens now in 2021 with COVID-19 not what may have been possible in 2018.
    – mdewey
    Sep 24, 2021 at 10:59
  • But I said, just regarding the transit-the previous answer talked about covid so I have nothing to add there. If anything, transiting today is worse because of covid.
    – jon
    Sep 25, 2021 at 14:19

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