| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Israel to reimpose COVID-19 ‘Green Pass’ as Delta variant hits

After a new surge in coronavirus cases, Israel unveiled plans on Thursday to allow only people who are considered immune to COVID-19 or have recently tested negative to enter some public spaces such as restaurants, gyms and synagogues.

The government had lifted most coronavirus restrictions after a rapid inoculation drive that pushed down infections and deaths.

The easing of restrictions included dropping a “Green Pass” program that had allowed only people who had been inoculated or recovered from COVID-19 to enter some public spaces.

But some measures have already been snapped back, including wearing face masks indoors and tighter entry requirements for incoming travelers, because of the rapid spread of the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

In a further tightening of measures, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said the Green Pass program would be back in force from July 29, pending government approval.

“The (Green Pass) will apply to cultural and sporting events, gyms, restaurants and dining halls, conferences, tourist attractions and houses of worship,” Bennett’s office said in a statement after a meeting of his “coronavirus cabinet”.

Entrance to events with more than 100 attendees will be allowed only for “the vaccinated, recovered and those with a negative test result who are aged 12 and over.”

Over 56 percent of Israel’s 9.3 million population is fully vaccinated, and serious cases have remained lower than during previous waves of infection.

  • Reuters