Coronavirus: Cabinet plans to lift certain Green Pass restrictions

Application of the new Green Pass system will begin on Thursday, but businesses that require access to the document will have to start scanning the barcode from Tuesday, the coronavirus cabinet decided on Sunday.

Only museums and municipal libraries will be exempt from the application.

The cabinet, which has met for the first time in more than a month, did not vote on the health ministry’s recommendation to abolish the system of several outdoor activities.

A woman shows her green passport at the Khan Theater in Jerusalem on February 23, 2021 (YONATAN SINDEL / FLASH90)

“The good news is that we are starting to block the Delta variant, but at the moment it is dangerous to relax,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said as he opened the meeting. “When the virus starts to recede, we must not allow it to reappear. “

Bennett said the Israeli public is starting to understand the government’s strategy and its goal: to keep the country as open as possible but at the same time pursue measures such as vaccinations, masks and mass testing.

During the meeting, government officials discussed the current situation, including an expert report from the Hebrew University attesting to a drop in cases across all sectors.

Earlier today, the health ministry extended the validity of the current Green Pass until Thursday, as the “traffic light” website and app where Israelis can download their new pass crashed in due to traffic overload.

According to the new rules that took effect on Sunday, only people who have been vaccinated with a booster, received their second dose or recovered, all within the previous six months, or were vaccinated after recovering from the disease can get the Green Pass.

As a result, more than 1.5 million Israelis lost their eligibility – also considering that the document is only valid for a full week after the second injection or booster injection.

The Green Pass gives access to several places and activities, as well as to certain workplaces. A temporary can be obtained by submitting to a test.

All eligible people must upload the new document. According to the ministry, by 5 p.m. approximately 1.03 million green passes had already been obtained.

Also on Sunday, the number of severe patients fell to 575, confirming the downward trend.

Some 1,709 new cases were recorded on Saturday, the lowest figure for more than a month, out of around 113,000 people screened.

Overall, the country has around 38,000 active cases, less than half of the peak of the fourth wave in August.

About 22,000 of the active cases were recorded among schoolchildren after schools fully reopened Thursday after the Jewish holidays.

Another 70,000 students were in isolation after being exposed to a verified patient.

Over the next two weeks, the ministries of health and education are expected to complete testing of the Green Class program to drastically change quarantine requirements in schools. If the new regimen is approved, only infected children will need to stay home, while those who come in contact with a case will have a PCR test, a rapid test every day for a week, then another PCR test – but be able to continue attending school in person unless they are positive.

“Our next and most urgent task for me is to end mass isolation in schools as soon as possible,” Bennett said. “We are currently building an infrastructure of millions of antigen tests that will allow us to do this. We will be following the pilot and other pilots who have started in the last few days, and we will make a decision soon. “

The cabinet also discussed how to improve the vaccination rate in the Arab sector.

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