COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip travel advice
Latest updates: Safety and security - update of information about humanitarian pauses
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Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Avoid non-essential travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip due to the ongoing regional armed conflict and the unpredictable security situation.
Gaza Strip - AVOID ALL TRAVEL
Avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza Strip-based terrorists.
Israel has expanded ground operations in the Gaza Strip.
If you are in the Gaza Strip, shelter in a secure place until it’s safe for you to leave. We understand that there are connectivity problems in the Gaza Strip. If possible, try to register or update your personal information through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest information about departure options. If you are unable to do so, try to contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
The Government of Canada’s ability to provide consular services in the Gaza Strip is severely limited.
Border with Syria - AVOID ALL TRAVEL
Avoid all travel to the parts of the Golan Heights that border Syria, east of Highway 98, due militant and Israel Defense Forces activity.
This advisory excludes the following cities where you should exercise a high degree of caution:
- Majdal Shams
Border with Egypt - AVOID ALL TRAVEL
Avoid all travel to within 5 km of the border with Egypt due to the volatile security situation.
This advisory excludes the city of Eilat and the Taba border crossing as well as the Route 90 leading to it, where you should exercise a high degree of caution.
Border with Lebanon - AVOID ALL TRAVEL
Avoid all travel to the area within 5 kilometres of the border with Lebanon due to ongoing military operations.
West Bank - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the West Bank due to the unpredictable security situation.
This advisory excludes the following areas where you should avoid non-essential travel:
- Highway 1
- Route 90
- Route 443 between Jerusalem and Modi’in
Border with Gaza Strip - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to due to the risk of rocket and mortar fire, gunfire and military activity.
Safety and security
Ongoing hostilities in south and central Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank
The situation in south and central Israel and the Gaza Strip is very volatile and unpredictable. Israel has expanded ground operations in the Gaza Strip, and air strikes continue.
The authorities in Israel and the Gaza Strip may observe temporary humanitarian pauses in the coming days and weeks. If you plan to leave the Gaza Strip, you should consider moving to a safe area closer to the Rafah border crossing during these humanitarian pauses, if it is safe to do so.
Missiles and rockets are being fired between Israel and Gaza. Rockets have reached Tel Aviv and areas near Jerusalem.
Explosions have injured civilians in many locations where they had taken shelter in and around the Gaza Strip. Damage to infrastructure has severed communication networks in the Gaza Strip, including the internet.
Terrorists have attacked and taken civilians hostage. The deadly attacks have resulted in thousands of casualties in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Tensions and violence are increasing in the West Bank. Demonstrations in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and frequent security operations often lead to violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, resulting in casualties.
Clashes between Palestinians and extremist Israeli settlers in the West Bank are growing. There are reports of civilians being physically attacked, forced under threat to leave their houses, evacuate specific areas, and subject to increased scrutiny and arrests by security forces. At checkpoints, if you are in a Palestinian-plated vehicle, you are at risk of increased scrutiny, search, including of your electronic devices, violence and arrests by Israeli security forces. If Israeli authorities perceive your social media activity as being critical of Israel, you could face additional consequences, including further searches and detention.
Hostilities persist and military operations are expected to continue.
We understand that there are connectivity problems in the Gaza Strip. If possible, try to register or update your personal information through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest information about departure options. If you are unable to do so, try to contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If you're in or around an affected area in Israel, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip:
- assess if you are currently in a safe location
- shelter in place if you can’t leave the area safely
- limit your movements
- remain extremely cautious
- monitor local and international media to get the latest information
- try your best to keep your phone charged
- follow the instructions of local authorities
- download an alert application to receive detailed information and instructions (e.g. Home Front Command)
Assisted departure options
Canada continues to plan assisted departure for Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and eligible family members to safe third locations, when conditions allow.
On November 1, 2023, the Rafah border crossing opened to a pre-determined number of foreign nationals. Canadians have started to leave the Gaza Strip through that crossing and additional departures are expected to follow in the coming days. If you want to leave the Gaza Strip, you must contact Global Affairs Canada as soon as possible. Canadian officials must request authorization on your behalf from Israeli and Egyptian authorities by submitting a list of individuals seeking to use the Rafah border crossing.
Global Affairs Canada will contact individual Canadians, permanent residents and their eligible family members to inform them when they have been authorized by Israeli and Egyptian authorities to leave the Gaza Strip by the Rafah border crossing.
- If possible, try to register or update your personal information through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest information about departure options. If you are unable to do so, try to contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre
- Keep your travel documents and personal belongings with you at all times
- Be ready to travel to the border crossing on short notice
The situation at the Rafah border crossing remains unpredictable. You should assess the safety risks for you and your family members before travelling.
If you're a family member of a Canadian citizen or of a permanent resident who is currently in Gaza, the West Bank or Israel and is unable to register through the Registration of Canadians Abroad service, please contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
Due to recent events in Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, operations at all land borders may be affected by limited authorized daily crossings, reduced hours or closure on short notice. Israeli authorities may also unexpectedly close checkpoints in the West Bank.
If you’re planning to cross the border between Israel and Jordan or Egypt, between the West Bank and Jordan, or between Gaza and Egypt, you should verify the status of the border crossings before you travel. Borders with Lebanon and Syria are closed.
The security situation along the Mediterranean coast of the Gaza Strip remains dangerous. The Israeli Navy regularly patrols the area and the Israeli security forces continue to intercept attempts to breach Israel’s naval blockade.
These incidents have resulted in:
In cases of deportation, local authorities are not obliged to notify the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv nor the Representative Office of Canada in Ramallah. As a result, Canadian officials may not be able to provide you with consular assistance.
- Avoid travelling to the Gaza Strip
- Don’t attempt to break the naval blockade
Border areas with Israel are particularly dangerous and heavily guarded. Landmines are present in certain areas along Israel’s borders. Some minefields have not been clearly marked or fenced.
Militant activity close to the Israeli barrier in the Golan Heights makes the area extremely dangerous and unstable.
Despite the United Nations-monitored buffer zone between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights, cross-border gunfire and rocket fires occur with little or no warning. The Israel Defence Forces also conduct military operations in the area, including air strikes.
- Don’t approach the Israeli barrier along the border with Syria in the Golan Heights
- Monitor local media for information on the latest incidents
- Don’t travel east of Highway 98 except to the following cities:
The border area with Egypt is dangerous due to military operations and smuggling activities.
The Israeli Defence Forces regularly patrols the area to intercept drug smugglers resulting in frequent armed clashes.
The security situation can also deteriorate rapidly due to instability and the risk of terrorist attacks in northern Sinai.
Don’t drive on:
- Highway 10
- Highway 12
- south of the intersection of highways 10 and 12
- between Eilat and the Netafim passage
The highways are subject to closure by Israeli authorities without warning.
If you’re planning to travel near the border with Egypt despite this advisory:
- expect roadblocks and checkpoints
- be aware of your surroundings
- monitor local media to determine where military activity is occurring
There is no official international border between Israel and Lebanon. The United Nations observe the “Blue Line,” which separates the two countries, in addition to a fence constructed by Israel on its side of the Blue line. There are sporadic clashes between Israeli and Lebanese armies patrolling along the Blue line.
Landmines are present in the area.
Terrorist groups based in southern Lebanon have fired several rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel, resulting in retaliatory air strikes by the Israel Defence Forces. Further incidents could occur without notice.
Rockets fired from Lebanon have targeted areas near several cities in northern Israel, including:
- Kiryat Shmona
There are ongoing military operations in the following areas:
- Kfar Shouba Hills
- Shebaa Farms
If you choose to travel near the border with Lebanon despite this advisory:
- remain cautious at all times
- monitor local media for any active security alerts
- follow the advice of local authorities
Confrontations and clashes between different communities and local authorities are common in East Jerusalem and parts of the Old City. Jerusalem has also seen an increased number of terrorist attacks targeting civilians.
During periods of imposed movement restrictions and on religious holidays, exacerbated tensions can lead to security incidents.
There are frequent clashes between Israeli Security Forces and Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa Mosque site on Temple Mount in East Jerusalem, especially during Ramadan.
- Avoid travel to the Old City during periods of exacerbated tensions
- Travel in groups
- Always dress conservatively
The situation remains unpredictable in the West Bank. Tensions have increased in various areas. Violent clashes between Israeli settlers, Palestinians and Israeli defence and security forces frequently occur. Incidents of violence often occur along major roadways and intersections where passing vehicles may be subject to random stops at checkpoints or targeted with stone-throwing and other forms of vandalism.
There are multiple Israeli military checkpoints throughout the West Bank, where there is a greater threat of violent confrontations. Areas in the vicinity of the barrier separating Israel and the West Bank are particularly high-risk.
Due to recent events in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, local authorities may close or restrict access to checkpoints without notice.
Frequent Israeli security operations targeting individuals in cities and villages throughout the West Bank. There is therefore an increasing risk of injury to bystanders during these operations. These incidents occur most frequently in:
- Bir Zeit
Although violence is usually not as common in the cities of Bethlehem, Jericho and Ramallah, there is an increase in violent incidents, especially clashes involving Palestinians, Israeli settlers, the Israeli Security Forces and the Palestinian Authority security forces.
If you are travelling to the West Bank despite this the advisory in effect:
- consider alternate travel arrangements in case of a rapid deterioration in the security situation
- avoid travelling at night
- monitor local and international media
- follow the advice of local authorities
- register and maintain contact with the Representative Office of Canada in Ramallah
Politically motivated violence
Politically motivated violence occurs regularly throughout Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Previous incidents resulting in injuries and deaths include:
- mob violence
- vehicle ramming
- stone-throwing at vehicles
During your stay:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Monitor news reports
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
There is a threat of terrorism. In the past few years, there has been an increase in deadly attacks targeting civilians throughout Israel.
Terrorist incidents causing numerous deaths and injuries have occurred in a variety of locations, including:
- Tel Aviv
Further attacks are likely.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres,markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant during:
- sporting events
- public celebrations
- religious holidays, such as:
- Rosh Hashanah
- Yom Kippur
- Pesach (Passover)
Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.
Cities across Israel may be targeted by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip or from Lebanon.
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have reached Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and have also struck close to Haifa, located approximately 150 km north of the Gaza Strip border.
The crime rate is relatively low in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Despite an important presence of security personnel in major cities, petty crime may still occur in urban and touristic areas and on beaches. There have been reports of:
- purse snatching
- theft of passports, credit cards and other valuables
There’s an increase in car thefts.
During your stay:
- make sure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- make sure that your wallet, money and valuables are out of sight, particularly in crowded tourist areas
- avoid carrying large amounts of cash
- avoid showing signs of affluence
- don’t leave luggage or valuables in a vehicle and always park your vehicle in secure facilities
- keep your car doors locked and windows closed at all times
Credit card and ATM fraud may occur. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Cybercrime occurs. Online scams and investment fraud against individuals are on the rise in Israel.
- Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks
- Avoid making purchases on unencrypted websites
- Be wary of unsolicited emails offering enticing business
- Never click a suspicious link in an email or text message asking for your credit card details
Demonstrations and strikes
Planned and unplanned demonstrations occur regularly.
Demonstrators frequently gather across Israel to express opposition to the government in place. These demonstrations and strikes often result in disruptions to services and public transportation. They sometimes lead to violent incidents, such as vandalism and clashes between demonstrators and police. Security forces sometimes use tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Service outages are frequent in the Gaza Strip. This includes disruptions in:
- telecommunications, including phones and Internet
- water services
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Tidal changes and strong winds can cause dangerous riptides.
- Never swim alone
- Always obey warning flags at beaches
- Keep a safe distance from boats and restricted areas
- Avoid visiting beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings
- Look out for signs warning of cliff erosion and falling rocks
- Follow the advice of the local authorities
Road safety can vary considerably in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Although most roads in Israel are in good condition, many roads in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are in poor condition.
During the winter months, precipitation can cause difficult driving conditions and road closures across the territory.
Driving may also be dangerous due to:
- traffic jams and heavy traffic
- narrow, winding and mountainous roads
- flash floods in some regions
There is a high rate of road accidents due to dangerous driving habits across the territory. Drivers often drive at excessive speed and don’t always respect the right of way, especially in roundabouts.
It’s mandatory to have a high visibility vest and a warning triangle kit in your car. If you must stop on the side of the road and get out of your car, you must wear the vest and use the triangles according to the safety instructions provided.
If you plan to drive:
- always drive defensively
- plan your trip in advance, especially if you are visiting a rural area
- always carry a cell phone and charger
- familiarize yourself with the route before you travel
There are security checkpoints across the territory, mainly in the West Bank.
The Israel Defence Forces control access to the West Bank through a series of security checkpoints and the Palestinian Authority police may do so within their jurisdiction. Following incidents of politically motivated violence, the government of Israel may also establish additional checkpoints without warning and increase the intensity of vehicle checks. Additional measures may include frequent and extended closures of checkpoints at the discretion of Israeli Security Forces.
Officers may ask to see your valid documents. There is no guarantee that you may pass through security checkpoints even if you have a valid visa and authorization to enter.
During periods of religious holidays, checkpoint and border-crossing hours of operation are subject to change.
If travelling by car during your stay:
- expect multiple roadblocks and checkpoints
- be prepared to present your identification documents
- don’t pass through checkpoints without stopping, even if they appear unattended
- follow instructions of police or military officers if you get stopped
The bus system is reliable. However, violent incidents occur occasionally in public buses and at bus stops. Attacks have resulted in deaths and injuries in the past.
If you’re travelling by bus during your stay:
- be aware of your surroundings at all times
- stay behind bollards or behind the bus stop while waiting
- stand away from large groups of people
- notify the driver of any suspicious objects or persons
The train network is extensive. It covers most of the territory and links major cities, such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. The Gaza Strip and some parts of the West Bank are not covered. In order to access train stations, you will have to pass a security check.
The Light Rail in Jerusalem is considered safe from Mount Herzl station up to French Hill station. You should avoid travelling through stations further north.
Trains in Israel are generally modern, clean and frequent.
If you’re travelling by train:
- be vigilant
- avoid travelling alone at night
- allow extra time to go through security checks
- validate your ticket to avoid fines
Taxis are generally reliable in Israel and the West Bank.
In the West Bank, taxis are the easiest way of moving around.
Mobile applications are also available.
If you’re taking a taxi:
- never use shared taxis
- negotiate the fare in advance
- avoid travelling alone at night
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Israel, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: not required
Student visa: not required
Work visa: required
The Government of Israel issues an entry card on arrival.
You will need your entry card to enter the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Keep it in a secure place to avoid complications upon leaving Israel.
Land travel restrictions
The Government of Israel tightly controls checkpoint crossings within the West Bank and to the Gaza Strip.
Security-related closures can severely restrict entry to and exit from these areas, even for persons possessing valid entry and exit permits.
Large crowds may gather due to:
- limited hours of operations
- unannounced travel restrictions
- extended closures
This may increase risks to your personal safety.
Travel to and from West Bank
The West Bank is divided into three administrative divisions, which fall under varying degrees of administrative and security control between Palestinian and Israeli authorities.
Israel sets out the entry and exit requirements for the West Bank. In some circumstances, Israeli authorities may deny you entry into the West Bank.
You are required to obtain permits with strict conditions for:
- short-term visits
- professional, academic or volunteering purposes
- temporary residence for spouses
These new procedures apply to all foreign nationals. As a result, you may need a specific type of visa to enter the West Bank based on your purpose of travel.
If you intend to travel to the West Bank:
- contact Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the closest Israeli embassy to find out which type of permit you need to apply for
- ensure that you have the proper and up-to-date identification, travel documentation and authorization to obtain your permit
- plan your visit accordingly and apply well in advance to avoid delays.
Travel to and from Gaza Strip
The Erez border crossing, controlled by Israel, is currently closed. There are no options other than the Rafah border crossing, controlled by Egypt, to enter or exit the Gaza Strip.
Due to the ongoing conflict, entry to and exit from the Gaza Strip is currently extremely limited.
Travel to and from Jordan
As a Canadian citizen, you may travel to and from Jordan through the following border crossings:
- Aqaba (Wadi Araba) near Eilat
- King Hussein Bridge (Allenby) near Jericho
- Sheikh Hussein Bridge (crossing the Jordan River) near Beit She’an.
You may obtain a visa upon arrival at the following border crossings:
- Sheikh Hussein Bridge (crossing the Jordan River) between Israel and Jordan
- Aqaba (Wadi Araba)
You will need to obtain a visa online or from a Jordanian diplomatic mission prior to travelling if you’re planning on entering Jordan at the King Hussein Bridge (Allenby) border crossing.
Canadians who were born outside Israel to a mother or father who is an Israeli citizen may be considered citizens of Israel.
Israeli law requires Israeli citizens to:
- enter and exit the country on an Israeli passport
- show proof of military status upon arrival
If you are unsure of your Israeli citizenship or your military status, verify it through the Embassy of Israel to Canada or an Israeli consulate before leaving Canada.
As a Palestinian-Canadian citizen, you may be subject to Government of Israel travel regulations for Palestinians. Strict border control policies may prevent you from entering to and exiting from:
- the West Bank
- the Gaza Strip
Anyone registered in the Government of Israel’s West Bank and Gaza Strip population registries, including Canadians of Palestinian descent born in the West Bank or Gaza after 1967, is prohibited from entering Israel through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport.
Israeli authorities are currently allowing only a limited number of Palestinians to enter into the West Bank via the Allenby Crossing (King Hussein Bridge). This rule may not apply to Palestinians with dual citizenship.
You may also be subject to Government of Israel travel regulations for Palestinians if you are a Canadian born in another Arab state or if you hold dual Canadian-Arab state citizenship.
Israeli authorities may then ask you to enter and exit Israel on your Arab passport.
If the place of birth listed on the traveller’s passport does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, travellers may be subject to increased security screening at points of entry, including extensive questioning, physical searches and/or denial of entry, which can involve temporary detention before removal.
Some Canadians have been denied entry into Lebanon, Syria and other Arab countries because their passports bore:
- an Israeli visa
- an Israeli border stamp
- an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel
Other entry requirement
Custom officials may ask to show a return or onward ticket as proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife.
Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2) is present in this country.
Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that typically causes fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, skin rash and eye infection. The disease is spread through direct contact with urine from infected animals or with urine-contaminated water, soil, or food.
Leptospirosis is a risk in this country, especially when participating in freshwater activities (e.g., swimming, rafting), being in areas with poor sanitation, or having close contact with animals, especially rodents. Most travellers are at low risk. There is no vaccine available for leptospirosis. Travellers at high risk may wish to consult a health care professional about pre-exposure antibiotics.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Medical services and facilities
The quality of medical care varies greatly throughout the destination. Very good health care is available in Israel and Jerusalem. Good health care is limited in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Medical facilities may lack of medical supplies and adequately trained professionals.
Medical treatment can be very expensive. Hospitals and doctors usually require immediate payment in cash.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Some prescription medication may not be available in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality at destination.
- Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
- Always keep your medication in the original container
- Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
- Carry a copy of your prescriptions
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Transfer to a Canadian prison
Canada and Israel are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Israel to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Israeli authorities.
This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs, are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
Although alcohol consumption in public is illegal in the Gaza Strip, you can drink alcohol in certain areas in the West Bank. Avoid drinking alcohol outside licensed premises in the West Bank.
Photography of sensitive installations is prohibited. This includes:
- military sites
- police personnel and installations
Seek permission before taking photos of people in Muslim or Orthodox Jewish areas.
Both Israeli authorities and the Palestinian Authority recognize dual citizenship.
However, foreign nationals naturalized citizens of Israel must forfeit their previous citizenship.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Israel, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Israel.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Israel, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Israeli court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Israel to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.
In the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:
Dress and behaviour
Some Jewish and Muslim communities' customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to religious practices and beliefs.
Assaults on foreigners travelling in cars on Shabbat, from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, or who are immodestly dressed have occurred in Jerusalem’s Old City and ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods around Israel.
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- behave discreetly
- respect social and religious traditions
- seek permission from locals before photographing them
Israel’s law doesn’t criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.
However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
The Gaza Strip’s law criminalizes sexual acts and relationships between persons of the same sex.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be detained based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics. They may also be detained and face other charges such as:
- gross indecency
- offence to public morals
2SLGBTQI+ travellers could face up to 10 years of imprisonment. They should carefully consider the risks of travelling to the Gaza Strip.
You may drive in Israel using your Canadian driver’s license for up to 12 months.
Vehicles with Palestinian licence plates are not permitted to enter Israel unless granted a permit by Israeli authorities in advance. If you are planning to enter the West Bank with a rented vehicle, verify your insurance coverage and permissions with your car rental agency.
You should carry an international driving permit.
- More about the International Driving Permit
- Driving in Israel – The Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel (AACI)
The currency of Israel is the Israeli Shekel (ILS).
Credit cards are not widely accepted in the Gaza Strip.
The Jordanian dinar (JOD) and the US dollar are also widely accepted throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
ATMs are available, but may not accept Canadian cards.
Natural disasters and climate
Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are located in an active seismic zone.
Even minor earthquakes can cause significant damage.
Sandstorms and dust storms
Sandstorms and dust storms occur in spring and summer in some areas. Sand-laden winds can blow at high speeds for days, creating difficult driving conditions. These storms can also lead to respiratory problems for some individuals.
During a sandstorm:
- stay indoors
- keep windows closed
- be prepared to change, interrupt or cancel your trip at any time
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
Heavy rains, particularly during winter, can cause flooding and landslides throughout the territory.
Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.
- Exercise caution, particularly in areas around major rivers
- Stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders
Wildfires may occur throughout the territory due to high temperatures and dry conditions, particularly during summer. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
In case of a significant fire:
- stay away from affected areas, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
- monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
- follow the advice of local authorities
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 100
- medical assistance: 101
- firefighters: 102
Tel Aviv - Embassy of Canada
Ramallah - Representative Office of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Representative Office of Canada in Ramallah or the Embassy of Canada to Israel, in Tel Aviv, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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