Israel Tightens COVID Restrictions on Gatherings

YERUSHALAYIM -
A green pass sign at the entrance to a shop in Yerushalayim on August 4, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On Wednesday, the coronavirus cabinet expanded the Green Pass proof of immunity program to apply to Israelis aged three and up, and placed limits on gatherings. The new restrictions will go into effect in a week from now on Wednesday, Ha’aretz reported.

Venues that are covered by the Green Pass scheme, which bars access from those not vaccinated or recovered, may have up to 1,000 people indoors and up to 5,000 outdoors.

Private homes or other venues that are excluded from the Green Pass can have up to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

The scheme applies to the majority of venues, both public and private institutions, including swimming pools, fitness centers, academic institutions, all cultural and sporting events, exhibitions and conferences, museums, libraries, restaurants and hotels.

Malls and shopping centers are not bound by it.

Coronavirus rapid-testing stations, whose cost has been approved by the government, are being set up across the country over the next several days to test children up to age 12.

Unvaccinated children over the age of 12 must take a COVID test, and the cost will have to be paid out of pocket.

Earlier this week, Green Pass rules requiring people entering facilities or events to present the pass regardless of the number of people on site went into effect. Houses of worship where there are 50 or more people on site are included in these rules. Mask mandate for outdoor events was extended of more than 100 people.

Green Pass rules allows entry for people age 12 and over to events and facilities, whether they are in or outdoors, only to those who have been vaccinated, recovered from COVID and show a negative coronavirus test. A rapid test is now admissible, so long as it was taken within 24 hours of the event. A PCR test can be used as well if it was taken within 72 hours before the events.

Starting August 20, children under the age of 12 will be required to present a negative COVID test anywhere the Green Pass program is enforced.