Travel News

Leaving Israel Will Now Take Even More Time with New Safety Measures

Written by Charlie

Israel is slowly opening up again and this reopening means that there are new safety measures at their Ben Gurion airport – measures that will take even longer now.

Israel is in the process of slowly reopening their country as well after a huge shutdown was instituted in response to the coronavirus. They have had over 16,000 cases and almost 250 deaths related to Covid-19. Now, they are taking security steps to create a “coronavirus-free zone” at the most secure airport in the world – Ben Gurion International.

Israel Creating a “Coronvirus-Free Zone” at Ben Gurion

If you have ever visited Israel before (I have over 30 times), you know well the security process that exists at the airport. El Al is the most secure airline in the world and Ben Gurion is the most secure airport in the world. As such, there are numerous security protocols already in place that call for passengers to normally arrive 3 hours before their flight (though I have done it in much less time before).

New Safety Protocols for Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport Departures

Now, their new protocols address the coronavirus situation and will require people to arrive even earlier. The new plan calls for passengers to arrive at the airport 4 hours before their flight and only ticketed passengers will be allowed to enter the terminal.

As of now, when travelers arrive for their flights at Ben Gurion, this is what the protocols require:

  • Masks on
  • Get checked for a fever
  • No escorts – only ticketed passengers in the terminal
  • Travelers should arrive 4 hours before their flight
  • Check-in stations will be mostly digital
  • Distancing will need to be observed (and is marked)
  • Sanitization stations will be located all around
  • Cleaning robots will be everywhere as well

It should be noted that, as of today, this is just for the departures at Ben Gurion. This is just because international arrivals will not be allowed until the end of the month. However, Israel says that incoming travelers will face even more hurdles but they do not have those finalized yet.

Some countries may also have embassy representatives on hand to check travel documents. This could mean that travelers will not need to enter quarantine again upon returning to their homeland.

Finally, Israel is talking with authorities in the US, Europe and elsewhere about these measures so it could be possible we will see them at other airports if these measures both work and are not too problematic.

Source: Reuters

Featured image by GeorgeDement [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • If this were any other airport in the world I’d say the public will never stand for these extra steps (long term). Interesting though.
    I have another trip planned for Israel at the end of December. I hope some of the hype has tapered off by then.

    The other thing that comes to mind is how they handle domestic connecting passengers from places like Eilat. Do they do the same things at Eilat prior to flying to TLV? I know traffic isn’t major on routes like that but it does exist.

    • I may be there before the end of the year as well so I am curious about it! As it is, people tend to get upset about the wait times there but not as much as if it was at an airport that the wait was due to inefficiency. They know exactly what they are doing in Israel! I am very curious to see what the entrance part will be like since leaving the country is always more intense than getting in, at least for me.

    • I’ve flown from Eilat to Tel Aviv before (in 2018). They do a similar process of a security interview and whatnot but it takes less time than at Ben Gurion Airport.

  • I accidentally filled out the non-filer and when I realized it I wouldnt take it back so it occured on 4/13/2020 and ever since I haven’t been able go get any assistance from real human and I’M receiving ssi and not required to file taxes so am afraid that IRS got mess up and went to by old address of my mothers house and she’s type of person that would cash it without my permission so am worried that I won’t be getting frist check so I dont know what else to do