• Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

Israel Implements New Coronavirus Restrictions for the Upcoming High Holy Days

Sep 7, 2021

In recent news, the Health Ministry in the State of Israel announced that it will be tightening restrictions in lieu of the upcoming High Holy Days. The country is currently bracing for mass gatherings, while the ongoing fourth wave of the novel coronavirus continues to dominate the lives of the citizens. 

The Health Ministry believes that all the prayer services should be organized to be held outdoors. In addition, they have advised that any synagogue welcoming more than 50 people should require the worshipers to show proof of immunity in order to enter. Children aged 12 and below, who have not received the vaccination, are going to have to take the PCR test for entry. Meanwhile, the rapid antigen test has been deemed insufficient. 

This decision came as the most recent update from the Health Ministry related to the current cases in the country revealed that 9,739 people tested positive for the deadly disease in the last 24 hours. The number has declined as compared to the last two days, which proved to be all-time high records for the country at 11,284 and 11,304, respectively. 

On the other hand, serious cases in Israel have steadily fallen for the last four days. But this record was broken when the country showed a minor increase in this figure, which went from 661 to 677, last registered late on Saturday. 

Due to the continuing wave of the coronavirus, restrictions have been placed on private gatherings, limiting them to no more than 50 people indoors, and only 100 individuals outdoors. Where public events are concerned, around 1,000 people will be allowed in indoor locations, and up to 5,000 in outdoor locations. Proof of immunity at the time of entrance has been deemed necessary by the relevant authorities. 

In addition, masks have been made mandatory in gatherings of 100 people or more. The Health Ministry has also suggested that people wear masks even if they are attending smaller gatherings. 

From the 7th till the 9th of September, on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah, as well as the day after, PCR tests will be considered to be valid for up to 96 hours. This change has been made as opposed to the test results being valid only for 72 hours. Anyone who carries out a PCR test on the 5th of September, Sunday, will be able to enter synagogues throughout the entire length of the holiday. 

Moreover, around 8,000 people will be granted permission to visit the Western Wall. However, they will be divided into capsules of 15 individuals and need to wear masks at all times. Guards have been appointed to be present at the location to ensure that all health restrictions are enforced. 

A Sunday update on vaccination revealed that the country has so far vaccinated 6.01 million people with the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Furthermore, 5.5 million citizens have received the second dose and 2.57 million people have even had the booster shot administered. 

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