Israel scraps indoor mask order as Covid infections wane

·1-min read
A teenager receives a dose of a Covid vaccine in Ashkelon, Israel (REUTERS)
A teenager receives a dose of a Covid vaccine in Ashkelon, Israel (REUTERS)

Israel has ended one of its final remaining Covid-19 restrictions by no longer requiring people to wear masks indoors.

The country’s health ministry confirmed that the measure would be ditched from Tuesday, but would still be required for staff in medical facilities, unvaccinated people visiting care homes, people en route to quarantine, and for passengers on commercial flights.

Israel has this month logged either zero or one daily Covid-19 deaths, health ministry data shows. New infections have been in a steady but gentle decline after a steep drop-off in February and March.

Israel has had one of the most successful vaccination campaigns globally and has fully vaccinated approximately 55 per cent of its 9.3 million population.

It recently expanded its vaccination eligibility criteria to include the 12-15-year-old age group, with 600,000 children now able to get the jab.

The rest of the country has largely returned to normal with businesses and schools open and caps on numbers of people allowed in public venues dropped.

The final major Covid restriction in Israel is that unvaccinated people entering the country are required to quarantine.

Authorities have been cautious about welcoming visitors because of concerns over new variants.

Israel welcomed its first tour group late last month. All tourists must show proof of vaccination and be tested upon arrival.

Israeli’s have also been advised not to travel abroad this summer.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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