The prime minister and health minister have decided to require a Green Passport to enter malls, marking a new milestone in limitations placed upon the unvaccinated and those who do not have a current recovery certificate.
This latest restriction goes into effect from Friday. This applies to children as well who would not be able to enter with parents who may have a Green Passport.
Aside from a general push to encourage vaccination for all ages – even 5 to 11 – according to a report on Channel 12, one of the intentions is to incentivize teens who like to hang out in the mall to be current with their injections.
When the concept to restrict mall entrance was floated last week, the idea was to issue a bracelet to Green Passport holders who would be able to roam the mall freely. Others would be able to enter only for essential services, such as supermarkets and pharmacies. It is unclear whether this is still the case, how it will actually be enforced and whether malls would participate in this.
Mall and individual store owners – who fear a huge downturn in business – are planning to take this to the Supreme Court.
The new ruling comes as fewer than 100 people in the entire country are in serious condition with COVID – not from Omicron – and only so far 55 people who tested positive for the coronavirus were found with the new variant.
When the new variant was first detected – and before it even got to Israel – the government rammed through draconian restrictions such as shutting the borders to tourists and resurrecting the state-run coronavirus quarantine facilities. They also announced a push to step up enforcement of the Green Passport at restaurants and other facilities.
Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.