Knesset Committee Discusses Details of Green Passport Plan

YERUSHALAYIM -
Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. (Flash90)

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, headed by MK Rabbi Yaakov Asher (UTJ), met Monday to discuss the details of the green passport for those who have been vaccinated with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein and coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash, who said it was possible that the passport could be combined with rapid testing.

In a presentation on the questions raised on the green passport issue, Ash said that the Health Ministry is delving deeply into the problems of those who cannot be vaccinated for different reasons, for example because they have recovered from the virus or have allergies, and that it is possible that these people may use rapid tests to gain entrance to various places.

Ash also said that the green passport could be used once the morbidity decreases long before Israel reaches herd immunity due to vaccinations of approximately 70% of the population.

The purpose of the green passport initiative is to enable the opening of different sectors of society, he said.

Edelstein said, “I talked to my counterparts in other countries and they were very enthusiastic about the idea of the green passport, working to create an international alliance that would allow the movement of citizens who have a green passport. The potential for issuing it is huge.”

Edelstein also repeated his support for a full closure due to the rising morbidity level, which he pointed out is greater than during September. He noted that “the heads of authorities and many in the public support me … Enough with this sort-of lockdown.”

Under the plan, “green passport” holders will be able to attend various events and eat at restaurants. They will not be obliged to enter quarantine after contact with a confirmed patient. Those vaccinated will also be able to travel abroad without taking the mandatory COVID-19 test before leaving the country, with a separate international card set to be issued for those traveling abroad.

During the meeting of the committee, Edelstein also pledged that “at no stage will there be a time when we don’t have enough vaccines in the refrigerator for the second vaccination, not in an agreement on paper, not on the way but in the refrigerator.”

Prof. Ash said it was possible that the passport could be combined with rapid testing, while technology experts presented options for apps, smart cards and other innovations that might be used in the green passport program.

Ash said that the Health Ministry thoroughly researching the problems of those who cannot be vaccinated for various reasons, for example because they have recovered from the virus or have allergies, and that it is possible that these people may use rapid tests to gain entrance to various places.

The purpose of the green passport initiative, he said, is to enable the opening of different sectors of society.

A representative of the Foreign Ministry said the ministry was in contact with organizations and governments around the world to create a document that would be internationally recognized and would spare those who hold it from having to quarantine when they travel abroad.