Jerusalem…The Halimi family rented a 5-bedroom house in the center of Jerusalem as they did for the Succoth holiday 2019. The Golds who own the house usually travel to the UK to spend the holiday with Mrs. Halimi’s parents. They are expecting to do the same this year but are not quite sure if the Halimi’s will be allowed to enter Israel. A spike in the Delta variant has caused the Israeli government to tighten incoming travel again without any assurances that the country will open to foreign visitors by Succoth. The Halimi’s are not alone as thousands anxiously await the government decision.
Hotel owners, across Israel, are hoping that they will not face another year of zero tourism as they did in 2020. The Israel Hotel Association has been lobbying the new government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to allow tourists into the country lest they sink into further economic abyss. The Golds are apprehensive that they may lose an important source of their income while the Halimi’s have already sent Gold a significant deposit and have even made airline reservations. “It’s a mess,” says Mrs. Gold, who is determined to travel to the UK despite the soaring Covid rates there.