Coronavirus Safety Tips for Holy Land Travel

While the country of Israel is still closed to incoming travelers, many people are starting to think about future travel to Israel but realize that Coronavirus is going to be around for quite some time. Many are looking  for coronavirus safety tips for having a safe and enjoyable time in Israel! 

When that happens, it will be be important to know how to stay safe while you are traveling, both to Israel and while traveling about the country. What travel precautions should you take when traveling when Israel reopens? What is Immanuel Tours doing to make sure you will be safe?

We will explore some potent coronavirus safety tips to keep you and your family safe while traveling.

Protecting You and Your Tour Members

Are you wondering how to have a safe tour in the wake of Covid-19? We suggest the following coronavirus safety tips before your tour and during flights:

  • Keep an Eye on Travel Policies – Keep in close contact with your tour operator to know of any restrictions that could affect your arrival before embarking, keeping in mind that the situation is evolving quickly and new restrictions are possible. Also, bookmark the Immanuel Tours Covid-19 Online Resource Page, which is updated frequently.
  • Access Your Risk – You and your doctor should discuss whether you are healthy enough to travel in light of the pandemic. It is well-known that underlying conditions can make your outcome worse, so it is advised that you speak to your physician before travel. 
  • Consider Testing Prior to Travel– While regulations regarding entry into Israel has not been released yet, it is possible that a negative test may be required to enter the country. Prepare tour members to be ready to fulfill this requirement and let people on the tour know that they should not embark if they are feeling ill.
  • Get Travel Insurance- Now more than ever it is important to get travel insurance. Make sure you understand the limits and coverages of your policy. Many will not cover the effects of pandemics now (cancelled flights and travel restrictions), but should still cover you if you yourself fall ill.
  • Be Careful About Disinfecting – Disinfecting practices are being taken by airlines and other companies, but it is a good idea to take extra steps for yourself and wipe down seatbelts, trays, armrests and the wall if you are in a window seat. Remember to frequently disinfect your own items as well, such as purses that are placed on tables and floors frequently and cell phones. Always read the directions to ensure you’re using the disinfectant products as recommended and to avoid damaging sensitive items such as mobile phones and other electronic gadgets. Consider using wipeable covers for electronics. 
  • Practice Good Hygiene – Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer to wash your hands frequently to help avoid illness before your trip and while traveling. The TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags until further notice if you are visiting from the US. Israeli airports still will not. Also, avoid touching your face and rubbing those tired eyes! 
  • Limit Pre-trip Group Exposure – Avoid people who are sick and keep a physical distance whenever possible. Many groups like to meet before they go on tour, but this may be inadvisable at this time. While airplanes can be crowded, try to avoid groups of people in the days leading up to your trip and while in airports.
  • Consider connecting flights – Shorter flights, instead of a single long one, would limit the time in the vicinity of a possibly infected person in a nearby seat. You’re also less likely to need to use the bathroom as often, which will reduce the amount of time spent in the aisle, and try to get a window seat or non-aisle seat when possible. 
  • Plan Ahead for Your Medications – Ensure that you have plenty of the medications that you regularly take for your trip to keep you in good health. 
  • Don’t Cough or Sneeze in Your Hands- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the used tissue immediately, and thoroughly wash your hands.
  • Wear a Mask– Most airports and airlines are requiring mask wearing. Wear one to help control the spread. 
  • Don’t Cross Contaminate – Bring along some ziplock bags to keep items in that may have been contaminated until you can clean them so you don’t contaminate other items in your luggage. When you get to your hotel where you will be for more than one night, consider getting laundry service to clean your travel clothing, which should be kept separate. 

Tour Tips to Protect Yourself & Those Around You

Here’s are coronavirus safety tips for while you are in Israel on tour:

  • Keep to Assigned Seats on Bus- While it may be tempting to move around the bus, it is advised to pick a seat on the bus and stick to it. This will limit germ sharing, but will also help keep the tour going smoothly as it allows group leaders to quickly identify who is missing when leaving sites.
  • Practice Distancing – Limit physical contact with fellow passengers, airport staff, and other people as much as you can. Avoid touching your face and close contact with people you may see coughing or sneezing. While touring, try to keep distance from other groups. 
  • Maintain Good Hygiene on Tour – Wash your hands whenever possible. Bring hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces on buses and in restaurants. Consider bringing a zip-lock bag to put your credit cards in until you have a chance to disinfect them after use.
  • Wear a Mask – Wearing a face mask can help stop the spread of the virus and becomes more effective if those around you are wearing masks as well. 
  • Stay in Your Room- When you arrive in your hotel, stay in your room as much as possible and avoid the common areas. You need the rest anyways!
  • Dining- While dining rooms and buffets are currently closed in hotels, the time will come when they reopen. It is always a good practice even without coronavirus, to clean your hands before and after each visit to the buffet.
  • Healthy Habits– Make sure you sleep on tour, takes rests, eat well and drink plenty of water. Exhaustion can be interpreted as illness and spark unneeded alarm. It also helps your immune system to keep these habits.
  • If You Get Sick- If you fall ill while on tour, quickly let your group leader know and isolate yourself from the group. We will take steps to get you medical care, if needed, and decide what next steps to take.

We hope these Coronavirus safety tips are helpful in making you feel more confident and prepared. Immanuel Tours is taking every measure to make sure the focus of your tour is where it should be and you still have a meaningful and comfortable experience, while maintaining safety.  If you’re looking to plan your Holy Land tour, we are welcoming inquiries to join and plan tours for late 2020, 2021, and beyond. Please contact us for more information. We hope to see you next year in Jerusalem!