Report: More Covid Restrictions Soon to be Lifted

YERUSHALAYIM -
A minyan in Efrat, with masks and social distancing. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

The light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel is getting brighter.

The Israeli Health Ministry is poised to cancel the requirement for people to wear masks in open-air public spaces and a partial opening of Ben Gurion Airport to tourism starting in April, N12 reported Sunday.

The airport opening would mean that Israelis could travel to destinations that accept the green passport, such as Greece, Georgia and Cyprus, N12 said.

Earlier in the day, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that thanks to the success of the vaccination drive, “we have no reason to believe that there will be a lockdown in Israel during Pesach…We are seeing very encouraging data.”

The Health Ministry said 640 people are currently in serious condition, 221 of them on ventilators. Another 466 virus cases — or 2.8 percent of all samples tested — had been diagnosed since midnight.

In addition, the coronavirus death toll since the start of the pandemic passed the 6,000 mark on Sunday. According to official figures, 6,008 have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak of the virus last March — an increase of 16 since the figure was last updated on Sunday morning.

But the basis for optimism was provided by the number of active cases, which has dropped below 30,000 for the first time since September, hitting 27,974.

Figures also showed that the basic reproduction number, or R0, representing the average number of people each virus carrier infects, had fallen to 0.78 — the lowest point since October.