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Israel to drop indoor mask mandate in the coming days as COVID cases continue to drop

Mandate remains in effect on flights and in hospitals

Israelis with face masks shop for groceries at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, January 13, 2022. (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue a sharp decline, Israel will drop its indoor mask mandate as of Saturday night, according to a communique from the Prime Minister's foreign media advisor.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz agreed that this mandate will be lifted on Saturday at 8 p.m. pending approval by the Knesset Health Committee.

The requirement to wear masks indoors will remain in places with people who are at high-risk such as hospitals, nursing homes, flights and for people on their way to quarantine.

The decision was announced a day after a U.S. judge threw out America's federal transportation mask mandate including on domestic flights. The choice is now in the hands of individuals whether they want to don a mask or not.

The number of people hospitalized in serious condition has dropped to 216 while new coronavirus cases recorded yesterday in Israel stood just over 4,500 – which is still a high number compared to the onset of the pandemic which triggered three national lockdowns. But it is also far lower than record numbers set in January, with 80,000 new cases a day.

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

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