Israel Lifts Almost All COVID Rules as it Exits Omicron Wave2 min read
On Tuesday, Israel rolled back almost all of the COVID-19 health restrictions, as the fifth wave of infections in the country receded. There were only a handful of restrictions left in place for preventing a reversal of the positive trend. With Israel now transitioning into a more relaxed state due to the number of declining cases, there are only a few restrictions that remain in effect. First off, people are still required to wear face masks in all indoor spaces. The requirement for masks that were needed in large outdoor gatherings has been lifted.
Furthermore, the Green Pass system that had been introduced and the certificate granted to those who have recently tested negative for the virus, recovered from it, or are vaccinated, is no longer in place either. The certificate will only have to be presented when entering old age homes. Apart from that, the new guidelines also permit the country’s borders to be opened to both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists, regardless of their age. The tourists are only required to provide a negative PCR test before they board a flight and also have to take a test when they land in Israel.
As for the citizens of Israel, they will no longer be required to take a PCR test before they return home, but it is suspected that a few airlines might require people to do so. However, the citizens will still have to take a test when they arrive. Previously, people had been required to present a Green Pass when they wanted to attend any public event, or visit some venues. But, these previous rules were also rolled back gradually and now only the requirement for care homes remains because people living there are considered at-risk. The validity of the existing Green Pass certificates has been extended till May 31st, but this is only for people who have received a shot of the vaccine in the last six months, or have received all three doses.
People who have recovered from the coronavirus can also get a Green Pass for six months and this will also have its validity extended to May 31st. The requirement for children in high school and middle school to take antigen tests at home twice a week has also ended. As for younger kids, this requirement remains in effect, but will come to an end on March 10th. These changes have been made because the daily count of the virus cases in the country has ebbed and is now a ninth of what it had been almost a month ago.
When the Omicron wave in Israel was at its peak, the average number of cases diagnosed daily was around 75,000. On Tuesday, the data from the Health Ministry showed that 8,372 cases had been diagnosed on Monday. The total number of active patients in the country has now reached 70,270. As for the patients in serious condition, this number has gone down by half since February 6th. It is now down to 582 from 1,242.