Israel has achieved an exciting milestone – no new Covid-19 related deaths for the first time in 10 months. The country has also revoked the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors. With almost 56% of its 9.3 million population having received both shots of the COVID-19 vaccine, Israel has logged sharp drops in cases.
The Israel Ministry of Tourism in tandem with the Ministry of Health has announced that on May 23, 2021, the country will begin welcoming vaccinated groups of international travelers. Israel Ministry of Tourism will launch a global campaign to let the world know about the potential for inbound tourism and a high vaccination rate.
With virus numbers on the decline and vaccines being administered widely and rapidly, things are looking very positive for the country. And the best news? Weddings and private events are back on the cards due to the easing restrictions!
So how did Israel manage to get in this enviable position and what does it mean for your wedding or private event? We got in touch with our DWP Insider elite members Koby Bar Yehuda & Lisa Shiner to share insights on what made the difference.
Lisa Shiner, Managing Partner from BE Group, Leading Events Production & Design Firm in Isreal, known worldwide to create luxurious and bespoke events.
Koby Bar Yehuda, one of the world’s top event planners, known for his innovative, trendsetting events worldwide from KBY Designs.
Source: Google Community Mobility Report, Johns Hopkins University, BBC
How Did Israel Manage to Attain This Success?
Picture Courtesy: @kbydesigns
“Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world. On Thursday, the country reached the milestone of five million Covid-19 vaccinations. So basically Israel has reached herd immunity,” shares Koby.
There’s no denying that Israel has had a tumultuous experience through the global pandemic. Experiencing three waves of Covid-19, the country has been severely impacted from both a health and economic perspective. However, things are now looking up with the country seemingly past the worst and entering a gradual return to normal. The question is how, exactly, did they do it?
Well, the government implemented a range of methods to curb the spread of the virus. Lisa lists down these things that helped Israel beat the clouds of this pandemic.
Travel Ban: Israel has been quick to implement travel bans restricting passengers from high-risk nations from entering the country. Residents of Israel returning from these destinations have been required to quarantine in state-run programs.
Lockdowns: Since the first case of COVID-19 in Israel in early 2020, there have been several lockdowns. Some of these lockdowns have been partial and others nationwide. The latest lockdown, beginning on 27th December 2020, limited the gathering of people. Initially, weddings were restricted to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors, however, this was reduced to 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors when the lockdown was tightened in January 2021.
Night Curfew: The government implemented a short night curfew between 8.30 pm and 5.00 am between February 25th-27th, 2021 to control celebrations for the Purim holiday.
Planned Exit Strategy: The Israeli government has implemented strict and considered measures to stop the spread of the virus, but they have also had a clear plan to ease these restrictions. This has included gradually opening businesses and increasing the number of guests at events to slowly re-open the country in a controlled manner.
Vaccinations: Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world. By February 9th, 2021, they had vaccinated a third of the population in just over a month. The country has had the fastest vaccine rollout, which has significantly helped curb the spread of the virus and reach the position it is in today.
What Does This Mean for the Weddings & Private Events Industry?
Picture Courtesy: @begrouptlv
After months of restrictions and limited guests allowed at events, the rules are finally easing in Israel. If you’ve been planning a wedding or private event, this is great news! It’s time to lock in a date and send out your invitations – if ever there was a time to celebrate, it’s now! Here’s everything you need to know about hosting an event now that restrictions have eased:
Guest Numbers: Social gathering numbers have now been increased, numbers vary depending on whether it is an outdoor or indoor event.
Indoor events – 50% occupancy not exceeding 300 people
Open space – 50% not exceeding 750 people etc and entrance to events only vaccinated people are allowed or negative test in rapid tests installed at the entrance of the event venues.
Green Pass: The local event market has been opened almost completely with a policy of a green card. Basically, the local market has come back to full work and all event spaces are fully booked for those who postponed and new clients.
It is possible for businesses and venues to implement ‘Green Pass’ restrictions that will allow them to have more guests at an event. People will be able to obtain a Green Pass and attend a Green Pass venue if they:
- Have been vaccinated
- Have recovered from Covid-19
- Are 16 years or younger and have tested negative to a COVID-19 test
What Message Would You Like to Give the Weddings Industry Across the Globe?
Picture Courtesy: @kbydesigns
The easing of restrictions is exciting news for the private events and wedding industry. Koby highlights the gap between the wedding & tourism industry and rightly believes that they have to align together to get out of this.
“Since our business of destination wedding is so depending on flights hotels and incoming guests and clients from overseas, we have difficulties to push our business to “normal” and mostly we feel that gradually with Israel opening up to international travelers, it will get back to normal.”
Picture Courtesy: @begrouptlv
A renewed demand in weddings and events.
Lisa adds that there will be new trends and demands in 2021 weddings. “While the world is undoubtedly still struggling with Covid-19, the widespread rollout of vaccinations means that many countries are returning to a somewhat normal situation. This is resulting in a renewed demand for wedding and event planning services from the many couples who have had to put their weddings on hold during the pandemic and are looking to finally celebrate with their loved ones. Couples are choosing to go bigger and bolder, really making the most of their wedding day after all this time.”
“We’d like to congratulate the wedding community on their resilience during this challenging time. Given everything that we have all endured over the last year or so, we are now hopeful that things will gradually be improving for our industry across the world. We believe that everyone deserves to celebrate and are grateful to be able to continue creating unforgettable events for our couples to enjoy. We wish all of our colleagues in the international community a full recovery and a very speedy return to pre-COVID celebrations!” Beautifully sums up Lisa.
Feature Image Credit: @masjid_al_aqsa