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Israel 'stopping use of Green Passport,' Bennett announces

With COVID cases dropping and Israel’s economy "booming," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced tonight that Israel is "stopping the use of the Green Pass and soon we will announce additional measures to ease restrictions."

"The Omicron wave is breaking. There is a steep decline in the number of serious verified cases," he said. "The strategy that we have led, of an open economy through all the waves, alongside dozens of persistent actions against the virus, has led the State of Israel – all of us – to be in first place in economic growth among the OECD countries. This is a level that we have not seen in 21 years. This is a major gift for the entire Israeli public."

"Just as we were the first to take action and close the skies at the start of the wave, now we are gradually relaxing the restrictions," he said.

The Green Passport, implemented a year ago in March 2021, was rescinded briefly last year from June 1 before the fourth COVID wave swept through Israel last summer. It has been in force since August until now.

He added that "Israel’s economy grew 8.1% in 2021 and 16.6% in the last quarter – the fastest in 21 years.”

The number of patients in serious condition with COVID at Israeli hospitals has dipped from 1,200 last week to 886 today. Just two weeks ago, Israel was in the midst of setting records for highest-ever new daily infections – its highest topping 80,000. But daily infections have dipped to 20,000+ a day – still high compared to previous waves but apparently low enough to warrant loosening of restrictions.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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