Health Restrictions to Expire June 1

A man without a face mask walks by a “mask” graffiti in downtown Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israel’s exit from the covid pandemic is no longer a matter of expert forecasts or official promises—it is rapidly approaching accomplished fact.

On Sunday evening, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said that he will not ask for an extension of health restrictions when they expire on June 1, meaning the authorities will no longer require proof of vaccination or social distancing in public spaces.

The announcement was made as Israel posted it greenest day since the covid outbreak: only 12 people having been diagnosed with covid in the past day.

Just 0.2% of the 7,492 PCR tests came back positive, according to Health Ministry data.

The number of active patients, which stood at over 82,000 four months ago, has fallen to just 542. Serious cases, which had reached over 1,200, stand at 60.

The total death toll has reached 6,398.

However, limits on travel to and from Israel will continue, albeit with easements.

Regarding travel abroad, coronavirus commissioner Nachman Ash told Ynet: “I think it’s not yet the time for that, since the infections in the world are high in many places, including Europe. The danger of getting infected there is very high, including for the vaccinated. Occasionally, we see vaccinated people who arrive from abroad with new variants, so it’s worth holding off on these trips.”

Incoming passengers are limited to small organized tour groups for the time being.

Ash on Sunday also backed the vaccination of children and teenagers aged 12-15 and said health officials would likely make a decision on the move in the coming days.

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