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Green Passport to cease operation on Sunday – except for large events

Bennett says "rational" government does not "run to lockdowns," bases decisions on data

Israel's Corona Cabinet decided today to suspend the Green Passport except for "high-risk" events which will be defined by the government over the coming days.

The "updated Green Passport" system goes into effect on Sunday pending approval by a Knesset committee. The Green Passport is proof of COVID vaccination or recovery required for Israelis to gain entrance into most public venues.

"We are constantly battling to keep the economy open and everything functioning," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said earlier in the day. "We are aware of the difficulties and the public discourse, and are attentive to the business sector."

These restrictions are being rolled back as Israel hopes to be exiting the fifth wave of COVID after setting record-high infections over the past month.

"We are currently at the height of the campaign. We can expect another difficult week-and-a-half," Bennett said. "Therefore, as I have said, I do not want to see complacency as if it were over already, neither among the public nor here in the rooms where decisions are made."

"Now is our time to tighten the safeguarding over the most vulnerable, over seniors in order to get through the wave," he said.

The cabinet also voted to cancel the requirement to undergo a coronavirus test prior to boarding a flight from Israel for people who have been vaccinated or recovered. Testing to board a plane to Israel and upon entering will remain.

"Our way in the government is rational, balanced and based on facts and data. We are not like those who say that we must run to lockdowns because the coronavirus is the end of the world, and we are not giving in to panic. On the other hand, we are not claiming that the coronavirus is merely the flu, because that is simply incorrect. The coronavirus is a disease that can cause severe harm and even death. We are choosing a moderate path, correct and balanced."

For events that will still demand a Green Passport, the new system requires proof of two vaccine doses or recovery from COVID within four months or three or four doses without an expiration date.

In order to enter a nursing home, all visitors will be required to take an antigen test.

Israel follows several other countries such as Denmark, England and Scotland in canceling most restrictions associated with COVID-19 in the past few weeks.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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