On Saturday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that even though serious morbidity was on a decline and there were other indications that the fourth wave of the coronavirus in the country is waiting, it was still ‘too early to celebrate’. The premier said that the country was still at a critical stage, as they intended to put an end to large-scale quarantines and were reopening the education system. Their goal was to use extensive testing and require quarantine only in verified cases. He added that it was time for them to be strict about the Green Pass and not become complacent. He called on those who haven’t gotten fully vaccinated to do so right away.
The Israeli Prime Minister said that the vaccination is life-saving and the vaccination of a country determines how much it can remain functioning and open. New rules for the Green Pass will be implemented on Sunday, with a number of Israelis losing it because of the updated immunity guidelines, as they have not gotten vaccinated with the third booster shot. Simultaneously, the police in the country would also be stepping up their enforcement efforts when it comes to checking proof of vaccine documents at venues and gatherings in cities where the infection rate is high.
Israel is the first country to start offering a third booster shot to its population. The campaign was launched on August 1st, only for seniors initially and was later expanded to all the population over the age of 12. The change in rules on Sunday will restrict the validity of the Green Pass to six months after the last vaccine shot of the individual. All current Green Pass will become void and Israelis would be required to obtain new ones through the website of the Health Ministry, or their app. The new ones cannot be issued before Sunday.
The pass will only remain valid for a week after people have received their last required dose. This document is issued to those who have recovered from the coronavirus, or have been vaccinated. It gives them access to a number of public events and places, which include museums and restaurants. People can also present a negative COVID-19 test for obtaining a temporary Green Pass, but they have to pay for it on their own, unless they don’t meet the eligibility criteria for the vaccine. While the new restrictive policies will be implemented, it becomes clearer that the country is on its way out of the fourth wave that has plagued it since June.
For the first time beginning August 17th, the number of people in serious condition because of COVID-19 fell below 600 on Friday. There were 586 people hospitalized and 422 of these people hadn’t been vaccinated. 37 patients had gotten all three doses of the vaccine and 108 of them had only gotten two shots. On Thursday, around 120,000 tests were conducted in the country and 3.81% of these turned out to be positive. The total number of active cases in the country were 45,412.