As of early June 2021, estimates have determined that over 80% of the Israeli adult population has received vaccinations with reports of 15 COVID-19 cases in one week. This is the all-time low for Israel in more than a year. However, the successful campaign for COVID-19 vaccination in Israel has encouraged the government to be more lenient regarding COVID-19 restrictions.
Recently, the Israel Health Ministry let the public know that it will remove the Green Pass and Purple Badge restriction. A Green Pass represents those who have entirely recovered from COVID-19 and those fully vaccinated. A Green Pass is downloadable to a person’s phone or can be a physical document. Israel’s Ministry of Health authorized it. This became necessary to do activities associated with the general public. The Purple Badge represents a self-regulated standard that businesses use to help control the virus. That standard includes maintaining a two-meter distance between people and checking body temperature upon entering the facility. The lifting of the Green Pass and the Purple Badge will allow all businesses to resume normal activities without any limitations on the number of people in one area. Soon, this will extend to places of business, workplaces and public transportation.
There are no further restrictions on the number of people gathered in a specific area, whether that be indoors or outdoors. Concerts and festivals can now restart and continue as pre-pandemic times. The indoor mask mandate will not change as of now. In December 2020, 10 million doses became available in Israel. The country has now moved onto vaccinating non-vulnerable groups. Israel is still cautious of foreign travelers. People who travel to Israel have to quarantine for a mandatory two weeks. Then, on day nine, they must receive a COVID-19 test. If an Israeli citizen would like to travel to a country with a high COVID-19 infection rate, they would need to provide special paperwork. The countries are Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Ethiopia, South Africa, India, Mexico and Ukraine.
Will the Change Work?
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 vaccination in Israel has changed the dynamic in the country. Many are excited for the normalcy to return, while others are cautious. While the cases of COVID-19 are low, the Health Ministry is concerned that new strains will enter from abroad. The Ministry’s attention focuses on the international airport located in Ben-Gurion. However, regulations and restrictions become at risk. More than two-thirds of foreigners entering the country, do not spend the mandatory two weeks in quarantine. The solution to the problem is a monitoring electronic bracelet that already exists and is ready for use. The system needs the approval of the Constitutional Affairs Committee. However, this committee remains inactive at the moment.
– Candice Lewis