Unvaccinated people who were exposed to a confirmed carrier of the Coronavirus will now only be required to be in isolation (bidud) for a period of one week. This is according to the new decision made by the Coronavirus cabinet in Israel on Tuesday evening. The cutting back of the mandated requirement came at the direct request of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. The issue was ratified in the cabinet in the presence of Bennett and the new Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz.
Bennett opened up the discussion by saying that a new approach was needed, one that wouldn’t focus on what needs to be closed, but rather on how to keep things open. Bennett also said that “the government needs to prepare any possible new measures well in advance in order to give the public time to prepare and not to catch people off guard. This will reduce stress and confusion.”
The Health Ministry requested to implement the “Green badge” limitations on closed spaces that would have more than 100 people present. Thus, vaccinated or recovering people, as well as those who could present a negative PCR test would be able to enter large-scale gatherings such as weddings, celebrations, shows, parties, festivals, conferences, gyms, restaurants, cafeterias, and places of worship. The Ministry is not asking to implement the green badge restrictions on malls, places of commerce, essential services, or public transportation. They recommended that these restrictions be put in place for the long term, as part of the new normal of living with the virus, and not be limited by a specific time frame.
Bennett added that since the new rule is in an effort to make the regulation more palatable to the public, the rule would be enforced more stringently. “People who leave their period of isolation without undergoing a PCR test that comes out negative will be fined 5,000 NIS. The goal of this move is to increase the number of people who follow the rules of isolation. We are taking a step toward the public by limiting the time period to something that the public can live with. We, therefore, expect the entire population to adhere to the rules to the fullest. This includes adhering to the regulation of isolation, and taking the PCR test at the end of the period, as well as getting vaccinated and wearing masks.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)