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Israel to ease Covid-19 restrictions

But tough rules on travellers will remain in place under the health ministry's proposal to lift virus restrictions.

1 minute read
People without face masks watch the sunset, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 18. Photo: AP
People without face masks watch the sunset, in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 18. Photo: AP

Israel is set to ease restrictions imposed to combat coronavirus on June 1, but tough rules on travellers to the Jewish state would remain in place, the health ministry said Sunday.

The health ministry proposal must still be approved by the government.

“For the first time since the outbreak of the epidemic, all restrictions inside Israeli territory will be lifted from June 1,” a ministry statement said.

Restrictions on travellers to Israel will remain in place, with the ministry even considering tightening measures to prevent virus variants entering the country.

During the worst period of the pandemic, Israel recorded around 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, but in the past 24 hours, only 12 people tested positive.

Israel launched a rapid vaccination campaign in December, with more than five million people receiving two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

The fall in cases has allowed the authorities to reopen restaurants, bars and sports halls, but only for people with a “green passport”, given to those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19.

The new rules will allow the entire population – including unvaccinated people – open access.

Since mid-April, wearing a mask is no longer required in public spaces, but is on public transport and in enclosed places.

The wearing of a mask will initially remain compulsory in enclosed places.

Israel has officially recorded over 839,000 Covid-19 cases, including 6,404 deaths, since the pandemic began.