Finance Ministry Gives Nod to Compensation for Quarantined

YERUSHALAYIM -
Cars line up at a drive-through COVID-19 testing center in Ganei Taarucha, Tel Aviv. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

With some 150,000 Israelis in isolation amid unprecedented levels of coronavirus infection, the Finance Ministry agreed on Tuesday night to a compensation package for both salaried workers and the self-employed.

According to the deal, the state will fund most days of quarantine following infection or exposure to a carrier.

Self-employed workers will be eligible for NIS 430 ($138) daily for four of the days of mandatory quarantine, starting from earlier this month. They can request retroactive compensation for up to three days of isolation for the period between July-December 2021, the ministry said.

Salaried employees will be eligible for payment from their first day of isolation, unlike previously when the first day of quarantine was at the worker’s expense, with the rest covered by the state for up to 75% of the worker’s salary, depending on the size of the business.

In a press briefing Tuesday, a Finance Ministry official said that Israel was “in the midst of a fifth wave [of the coronavirus],” and “the next month will not be simple.”

“The government is continuing with its policy of ‘living with the corona[virus]’ with no lockdowns. This has proven itself: The economy is running. We are back to pre-pandemic levels for unemployment. In 2021, we saw growth of over 7%.”

Earlier, the Health Ministry revised upward its covid figures for Monday, saying that 41,154 people were confirmed positive for coronavirus Monday, several thousand higher than had been reported on Tuesday morning.

According to the latest data, there are currently 194,523 active covid cases in the country, with 703 hospitalized and 253 of those in serious condition.