Israel getting rid of COVID restrictions, including vaccine passports

Israel getting rid of COVID restrictions, including vaccine passports
AP Photo/Oded Balilty
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Israel is set to do away with almost all pandemic restrictions on June 1, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced Sunday. 

"The economy and the citizens of Israel will get extra room to breathe," he said, but also warned that they could be reimposed should the situation take a turn.

After a major vaccination push earlier this year, Israel has had some of the highest successes against the pandemic, presenting days with no recorded deaths whatsoever since late April. The majority of the population of Israel has received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and approximately 92 per cent of those 50 and older are inoculated or recovered. Israel has been gradually reopening its economy after three lockdowns.

As of June 1, Israelis will no longer be required to present a ‘Green Pass’ vaccination certificate to enter any amenities. The Green Pass was previously required for admission to certain venues, like indoor dining and gyms. 

Edelstein stated the decision was the result of diligent consultations with health officials. Restrictions on gatherings, indoor and outdoor alike will be removed. 

Israel also reportedly plans to lift its indoor mask mandate within the next two weeks. 

Israel’s borders are still closed to most incoming travel, but the country is now allowing small groups of fully vaccinated tourists to enter. There are plans to allow individual vaccinated tourists to enter in July.

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