beach

Israelis enjoy the beach outside the Old City of Jaffa, on April 24, 2021. 

The European Council on Thursday added Israel to the list of countries for which EU members are recommended to gradually begin lifting coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

The other countries on the list currently include Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and China, though the latter’s place on the list is “subject to confirmation of reciprocity,” the Council said in a statement. The list will be reviewed every two weeks.

The recommendation is not legally binding, and individual E.U. member states are not obligated to implement it.

Also on Thursday, the Tel Aviv Municipality released a statement declaring the city “ready for the return of international tourists” in May and “promising a safe and exceptional urban experience for new and returning visitors alike.”

“Incoming tourism is an integral part of the identity of Tel Aviv-Yafo, and I am excited to host you again soon,” said Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. “Your safety and health is a top priority for the city’s entire tourism industry. Alongside international-standard service and hospitality, we will do everything to ensure that you have fun and return home safely,” he added.

Israeli Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen announced on April 27 that Israel will begin admitting a limited number of vaccinated groups to enter the country toward the end of May, with the aim of fully reopening to all vaccinated travelers in July. JN