How Daily COVID-19 Tests Will Work For Groups Under New Travel Plan
While all travelers should be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization, these groups may include people who have only received two injections of the vaccine and not three as long as they agree to operate in Israel as a “capsule”. “This means that its members can only be in contact with other people in their group. They will not have free time outside the group and their movement will be restricted in areas where the risk of infection is increased. .
According to the plan, up to 2,000 travelers approved by the Tourism Ministry can enter the country each day. None of the group members could have been in a “red” country with high infection rates within 14 days of arriving in Israel.
In addition, travelers will need to be tested daily with an antigen test or every three days with a PCR test.
How will it work?
Understand, Jerusalem post spoke with Snir Zano, CEO of AID Genomics, and Dr Asaf Gertler, vice president of clinical affairs for the company.
AID Genomics is an international company specializing in the diagnosis, early diagnosis and treatment of diseases of genetic origin. The company operates the largest COVID-19 testing lab in Israel – and the Middle East – and has already supplied tens of millions of test kits to more than 20 countries.
AID Genomics is setting up some 380 new test stations across the country to meet the influx of travelers.
Groups can visit one of these test stations or have AID come to their hotel and test everyone at the same time. Other companies are also setting up complexes and will be available for testing, such as Magen David Adom and other private testing companies.
Zano said that because tourists tend to have tight schedules, he expects the hotel test option to be used the most.
The tour operators will be the ones who will organize the testing for these groups directly through the companies. AID said it can deliver results as a group so everyone gets results at the same time.
Rapid antigen tests only take about 20 minutes between the test and the results, so the results are given on the spot. However, PCR tests must be sent to the laboratory and results arrive up to 12 hours.
The results of the antigen test are valid for 24 hours and the PCR for 72 hours. However, the cost of both tests turns out to be almost the same. An antigen test costs around NIS 30 but must be done every day. A PCR test costs around NIS 100, but takes three days.
When asked if he thought the system would work, Zano said, “The tests are available. The country’s infrastructure allows it.
“So it all really depends on the messaging,” he said. “Will the tour operators understand what to do? Will travelers want to come and do it or will it seem too complicated? “