Report: Health Ministry Reconsidering Quarantine Exemption

YERUSHALAYIM -
Health care workers take test samples of Israelis at a test site to collect samples for coronavirus testing, in Modi’in. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Health Ministry is expected to consider cancelling the quarantine exemption for residents who have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine as well as those who have recovered from the disease, a Channel 12 News report said.

According to the report, the ministry is weighing the move due to the lack of significant decrease in the infection rate and the overwhelming number of hospitalized patients: Both these numbers continue to remain high despite the ongoing lockdown and nationwide vaccination campaign.

Israelis who have received their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as well as those who have previously been infected with the virus and are considered recovered, are currently exempt from being required to self-quarantine following contact with a confirmed virus carrier or upon returning from trips abroad.

However, there is growing fear that these individuals may still carry the virus in their respiratory systems, despite not testing positive for it, and end up infecting others in the process.

The Health Ministry is concerned about all possible sources of infections and is therefore expected to hold a discussion in the coming days regarding whether or not to cancel the quarantine exemption for these groups.

Last week, the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate published a warning that combining mass vaccination with a spike in infections could lead to a strain of coronavirus that will resist the vaccines currently in use.

The report recommended requiring anyone landing in Israel to quarantine, even if they have recovered from coronavirus or received the vaccine.