Ministers adopted the Health Ministry’s recommendations to further restrict gatherings in an effort to contain the new outbreak of COVID-19, which has been blamed on the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
The rules go into effect August 8 (with the exception of the Green Pass requirement for children, which goes into effect August 20.)
From August 20, the new regulations will fully extend the Green Pass system to all gatherings – not just those of more than 100 people, as is currently the case – and restrict access to public places to unvaccinated children.
The Green Pass was partially reinstated by the government on Thursday, with entry to events of more than 100 people – both indoors and outdoors – allowed only to those who are vaccinated, collected or showing a negative COVID test. However, children under 12 were largely exempt from the system, and small gatherings had no limits.
The government said young children will now need to be tested to enter the sites, starting August 20. He plans to set up a rapid test system to enable this.
The new sanitary rules also impose masks outside for gatherings of 100 or more people; reduce office work for civil servants to 50 percent and recommend that the private sector also allow employees to work from home; and require immunized caretakers of infected children under 12 to self-isolate.
The government also plans to step up advocacy to encourage Israelis to stop “shaking hands, hugging, kissing and avoiding any gathering inside that is not essential,” according to a statement. of the government. It will also encourage people over 60 to avoid gatherings or be in the same room with unvaccinated people.
An Israeli woman receives a third Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the central city of Ramat Hasharon on July 30, 2021 (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner)
In addition, the government plans to further expand the list of destinations from which Israelis must isolate themselves upon return to Israel, regardless of their immunization status, so that arrivals from most countries of the world will need to be. quarantined.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said restrictions will need to be tightened if the pace of vaccinations does not increase, Walla News reported.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of Bennett’s Yamina party, claimed that “the only way” for Israel to avoid a fourth national lockdown is to vaccinate a million people in a week, according to Channel 12.
The network cited Shaked as expressing agreement with former IDF General Roni Numa, responsible for COVID policy at Ben-Gurion airport, who called for a lockdown so Israel can vaccinate more people and set up a rapid test device.
Additionally, the Department of Health is working to postpone the start of the school year to September 1 due to concerns over the increase in coronavirus cases, Kan News reported.
The report says the purpose of the move was to delay a possible surge in cases where students return to class and noted that there was a limited number of school days next month anyway due to highs. holidays.
Earlier on Tuesday, a list of new countries from which even vaccinated travelers must be quarantined – including the United States and much of Europe – was approved by a Knesset committee.
Ahead of the coronavirus cabinet meeting, the Knesset Committee on Labor, Health and Welfare approved the Health Ministry’s request to add 18 more countries to the list of destinations from which all Returnees will need a seven-day home quarantine and two negative tests.
The new additions are: USA, Germany, France, Greece, Egypt (including Sinai Peninsula), Ukraine, Italy, Iceland, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Botswana, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Tanzania, Malawi, the Czech Republic, Cuba, Rwanda and Tunisia.
The countries already on the list are: United Arab Emirates, Myanmar, Guatemala, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Colombia, Fiji, Mongolia and Cambodia.
Costa Rica, Seychelles, Zambia, Paraguay, Uganda, Liberia, Panama and Kenya will be removed from the list effective Sunday, and the 18 new countries will officially enter the list next Wednesday.
The same quarantine rules apply to Israelis returning home from countries they are prohibited from visiting: Spain, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus, Turkey, Georgia and United Kingdom. Returnees who left Israel after the ban took effect are also expected to pay a fine of 5,000 shekels ($ 1,500).
A total of 42 countries are on the list of those whose returnees must quarantine for seven days with two negative PCR tests – or 14 days without.
Updated figures from the Department of Health released Tuesday evening showed 2,052 new cases of coronavirus and one more death from COVID-19 since midnight. The positive test rate for the day was 3.08%.
In total, there are more than 22,727 active infections, including 221 severe cases, of which 47 are on ventilators.
Israel has confirmed 882,391 infections and 6,495 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
According to the ministry, 5,792,114 people received at least one dose of the vaccine, 5,382,603 received two injections and 142,334 received an additional booster.