Israel Looks to Lift Indoor Mask Rule

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israelis were allowed to go without masks outdoors at the end of April. Indoor masking may end within two weeks. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

As the covid pandemic continues to ebb, Israeli health officials are contemplating an end to the requirement of wearing face masks indoors within two weeks.

This was the latest step in the incremental reopening of the economy. On Sunday, 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.

Restrictions on travelers entering the country from abroad will take longer, though.

“It’s still important to ensure that contagion does not arrive from outside,” Dr. Sharon Elroy-Price, the Health Ministry’s chief of public health, told Channel 12.

“On that front, not only will the restrictions remain, they will be increased. We haven’t yet identified a variant that’s resilient to the vaccine,” she says. “We’re conducting many tests to prevent the entry of any such variant.”

All incoming travelers must still quarantine for about two weeks, and must receive a Covid test on their ninth day in the country, she said.